Safe alone: Cav kids club ups the fun

Not long after my family and I moved here— from a much larger city, I have to say— our next-door neighbor offered my kids free tickets to a UVA men’s basketball game at University Hall. “They can go by themselves with no problem,” he assured me.
My boys were in fourth and eighth grades at the time, and, unconvinced that they would be safe in this situation alone (I had terrifying visions of the big city college basketball venues back home), I politely declined this kind offer. I have since come to realize how wrong I was. Not only are UVA games safe for age-appropriate kids on their own, they are great family entertainment and a great value.
And just to make a good thing better, the UVA athletics department offers sports fans in grades K-8 the chance to join the Cavalier Kids Club. “We’re trying to reach out to the community as much as we can,” says director of marketing Katie McFadden. This year, the club isn’t just for women’s basketball. The promotions people have added admission and special promotions for five more sports to the Kids Club. For a $35 annual membership fee, young fans can get into all regular season home games for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and baseball, as well as women’s basketball.
The list of other perks includes an official T-shirt, a women’s basketball rally towel, player autograph sessions and other meet-and-greet opportunities, special seating at basketball games next to the tunnel where players enter the court, prize drawings at games, a complimentary visit to the ACAC rock climbing gym, a Cavalier Kids Club event at ACAC Waterpark, and more.
Even if the kids don’t join the club (which they can do at any time during the school year), admission to most games is only $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors. Many sports have games with two-for-one deals (one child admitted free with an adult) and other promotions, such as the September 28 women’s and men’s soccer doubleheader that offers free admission for one child and one adult when they show a Giant Bonus Card. And if you’re looking for a real bargain, a number of Cavalier contests are totally free including field hockey, swimming, volleyball, wrestling, and most women’s lacrosse games.
These days I never worry about sending my boys to the game without me. Most of the time, though, I’m there cheering on the Hoos right along with them. I mean, why should the kids have all the fun?

All the particulars about UVA sports— including news, scores, schedules, season ticket information, and the Cavalier Kids Club order form, can be found at virginiasports.com. Advance tickets can be purchased by phone at 924-UVA1. Tickets and Kids Club order forms are also available at the Virginia Athletic Ticket Office at Bryant Hall on the south side of Carl Smith Center.

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