June 7, 2011
LOS ANGELES - For the second year, UCLA Athletics hosted the Prime Time Games; a full-inclusion, peer-mentor sports program in which economically disadvantaged and under-served middle school students from the Team Prime Time after-school program ("coaches") coach and play alongside children with developmental disabilities ("athletes") in the only after school sports program of its kind.
Former Bruin quarterback and radio analyst Matt Stevens, and current Athletic Performance Coach and former Bruin offensive lineman Mike Linn, kicked off the event by welcoming the coaches, athletes and families in attendance to Spaulding Field. Members of the football team and athletes from other Bruin sports took part in "Championship Saturday," serving as honorary coaches and captains for the inclusive soccer and basketball teams. Participants were awarded medals and received high fives and autographs from the Bruins.
The Prime Time Games began with 20 athletes from six LAUSD schools in Fall of 2004. By Spring of 2005, the program had nearly tripled in size. To date, over 250 athletes with developmental disabilities ranging from autism to down syndrome have participated in the Prime Time Games. At the core of the Prime Time Games lies the very simple premise that bringing two "high-risk" populations together, united by a shared love of sport, will generate lasting benefits for everyone involved.