VOL-oween connects UT athletes with families of faculty and staff

Princesses, pirates, witches and wizards invaded the Neyland-Thompson Center Indoor Facility Monday Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. for the third annual VOL-oween.

Smokey taking pictures with his fans for Vol-oween Teresa Cooper/TNJN

Princesses, pirates, witches and wizards invaded the Neyland-Thompson Center Indoor Facility Monday Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. for the third annual VOL-oween.

An event that was founded three years ago by current Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics, Dave Hart, continues to grow in popularity among student athletes and families of the university.

VOL-oween featured different stations for children to stop by, get a treat and play a game.

"Dorothy" runs the football obstacle course.
“Dorothy” runs the football obstacle course.
Teresa Cooper/ TNJN

The activities ranged from eating a doughnut hanging from a string at the swim team station, running through a football obstacle course and shooting a basketball through an inflatable basketball hoop with a Lady Vol.

There was also the opportunity to have your picture taken with the cheerleaders and Smokey.

Joe Scogin, Assistant Provost and Senior Associate Athletic Director gives history on the event.

“Dave Hart started the event as an opportunity to give back to our fans and to our student athletes,” said Scogin.

Scogin continues, “They don’t have that opportunity to interact with the athletes outside of that arena, and so this is an opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and administrators outside of the typical setting.”

Scogin noted that all sports teams were represented at VOL-oween, from soccer to baseball.

Sierra Williams (left), Kalee Simpson-Members of UT Dance Team
Sierra Williams (left), Kalee Simpson-Members of UT Dance Team
Teresa Cooper/TNJN

Although dance is not considered a sport under the National Athletic Collegiate Association, it is recognized by the university as a sport.

Sophomore UT dance team member, Sierra Williams likes celebrating with the kids.

“We just love being around all of the younger kids, and saying, “Happy Halloween,” said Williams. “I think it’s definitely important for the UT community to do this because of the fact it gets younger kids involved, and I think it’s great for the kids to come see how we can be great examples as college athletes.”

A second member of the UT dance team, Kalee Simpson thinks the event teaches kids an important lesson.

“I feel like it’s important for us to be here to hang out with them and show them how we’re just average people but we’re athletes,” said Simpson.

For more information on UT events, click here.

Edited by Alyssa White