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Posted November 15, 2011

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Soccer Star Kicks the Ball with Truman Students while Encouraging Flu Vaccines

Soccer superstar Brandi Chastain visited Truman Middle School on Nov. 9, encouraging the school’s soccer players to make good choices and stay healthy.

“To be good in soccer, you have to manage all of the other things in your life, and being healthy is one of them,” Chastain told students. “I encourage you to do your best, to be leaders, to take risks, to be better. If you don’t go to the field with a plan to get better, you’re wasting your time.”

Chastain visited Truman and also Sandia Base Elementary as part of a nationwide effort encouraging students and their families to get flu vaccines. She was accompanied by Dr. Catherine Torres, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health; Anna Pentler, executive director of the New Mexico Immunization Coalition; and APS school board member Kathy Korte.

Chastain, an Olympic and World Cup soccer champion, delivered the penalty kick against China that won the 1999 Women’s World Cup for the U.S. Women’s National Team. What earned her worldwide fame was when she took off her jersey and swung it in the air victoriously after that kick.

Chastain chatted with Truman students, including members of the APS champion boys middle school soccer team, about the importance of making good choices. “It’s the simple things that matter,” she said. “Eat well, get rest, exercise, be active, wash your hands.”

As part of her visit, Chastain also conducted a short soccer clinic for the students, giving them tips on headers, dribbling and ball control.

After the clinic, more than 250 Truman students received their flu vaccine. In all, more than 45,000 students statewide, including thousands in APS, have received vaccines through the School Kids Influenza Immunization Project sponsored by the New Mexico Immunization Coalition.

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