Long Beach State athletics celebrated the beginning of the fall semester with its annual Beach Day event at Rosie’s Point in Long Beach, Friday.
The event was hosted by CSULB Athletics director, Andy Fee, along with CSULB’s Shark Lab. There was also a special volleyball clinic for kids hosted by the women’s beach volleyball assistant coach, Kristian Kuld.
Beach Day was open to the public, and attracted many curious people who were there to see the shark jaws that the renowned Shark Lab had on display at their booth.
Fee said that he hopes the fall sports have the same success as the men’s volleyball team who won back-to-back NCAA national championships.
“We have great student-athletes, and we need to keep improving our athletic brand so that more people come out to support all of our sports,” Fee said.
According to Fee, events like this help the school spread awareness to the people who are interested in the Beach athletics.
“We want families to know that we have a great educational system,” Fee said. “We want them to know that out athletic department does an incredible job to put the school’s name as high as possible, so that one day kids would want to wear the Beach jersey and feel proud about it.”
Beach Day is just one of the many outreach events planned for this semester by CSULB athletics.
Meanwhile, the Shark Lab joined the event to share important information about sharks for those who go to the beach on a regular basis.
Erin Pierce and Bobby Hyla from Shark Lab brought shark jaws, shark eyes, and shark fins that washed ashore.
“We want people to be safe out there, and really we’re just here to help young kids understand more about these animals,” Hyla said “They are incredible creatures capable of anything, and we want everyone to be safe whenever they go into the beach.”
The mission of Shark Lab is to understand the physiological and ecology of marine animals. The lab also focuses on understanding the human impact on the ocean and training future marine biologists.
“We focus in their behavior of white sharks, mako sharks, and sting-rays. We study their behavior to try to learn more about this incredible animals,” Pierce said.
Erika Torres and her kids Ricardo and Mia were casually walking by when they were surprised to see an event hosted by CSULB.
“Events like this are great for kids,” Torres said.
Torres shared that despite being her first time attending an event like this, it makes her happy to see her kids’ positive reaction, and the interest they put into learning.
“[Ricardo and Mia] like to try new things, and I hope that the next time they come here, they bring more sports like soccer,” Torres said. “My kids love soccer so that would be nice to see.”
After Torres’ kids participated in the volleyball clinic, they also stopped by the Shark Lab booth and took a peak at the shark eyes.
The parents were seemingly happy about getting to know more about the school, and met some of the staff as well. In Torre’s case, she was pleased to have the opportunity to get to know more about the CSULB community.
But not all attendees were unfamiliar to the scene of CSULB. Some of them were already familiar in sharing the CSULB culture with others. Alumni Ana Witzling, brought her kids, David and Natalie, to enjoy Beach Day.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to come out here and play, and to have some fun,” Witzling said “I think that events like this help kids to be competitive.”
Witzling graduated in 2006, and hopes that in the future her kids choose to attend CSULB as well.
“Every time I have the chance, I like to take my kids to see the volleyball games at the pyramid,” Witzling said.