CSU students win tuition help with field goal kicks

Four students shoot for $5,000 during CSU/CU rivalry game in UCHealth’s Kickin’ for Tuition contest
Sept. 5, 2016
At left, CSU sophomore Erin Eck, a health and exercise science major from Forestville, Calif., and at right, CSU senior Matt Glassmeyer, a senior real estate major from Arvada, accept a ceremonial check from UCHealth’s chief marketing officer, Manny Rodriquez, and his son after each student successfully kicked a 20-yard field goal to win $5,000 in tuition, courtesy of UCHealth, on Sept. 2 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver. Photo by Michael Mazzanti, UCHealth.

Two Colorado State University students walked away winners Sept. 2 despite their team’s loss to University of Colorado at the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

CSU sophomore Erin Eck and senior Matt Glassmeyer won $5,000 toward their tuition after each successfully kicked a 20-yard field goal after the game’s third quarter.

“It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had,” Eck said. “I’m so appreciative for the opportunity.”

As a partner of CSU and CU, UCHealth created the Kickin’ for Tuition contest to engage students in a more active role at the rivalry game held each year at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Student entered via their school’s homepage for a chance to be one of four — two from each school — chosen to attempt a field goal from the 10 yard line.

“I saw it on (social media) and put my name in thinking there was no way I’d be chosen,” Eck said.

Although she’d played soccer growing up, it had been about five years since Eck had competitively kicked a ball. Eck, who came to CSU from Forestville, California with CSU’s Honors Program and Presidential scholarships, wasn’t going to lose her chance to get additional help with her out-of-state tuition.

Each contestant was offered 30-minutes of practice time at their home-school field. Eck recruited another soccer player to help and begin warming up her kicking leg.

“I was a soccer player, so that helped … but I don’t think I could have done it without the help from my friend,” she said.

Eck is majoring in health and sports medicine. She’s looking to pursue a career in physical therapy or orthopedic surgery — a choice sparked by a knee injury she sustained while playing sports, she said.

“It was then that I really realized that helping athletes recover and getting them back to what they love to do is something that I’d like to do myself,” she said.

After she recovered from surgery, Eck found herself supporting a family member going through similar joint rehabilitation.

“I was able to help her recover and get through the mental and physical obstacles that you have to go through,” she said, adding that the experience reaffirmed her choice in career paths.

UCHealth’s ongoing partnerships aim to encourage students and communities, though fun and healthy ways, to stay active. And, just like Eck hopes to one day, UCHealth strives to improve lives.

Glassmeyer, a real estate major from Arvada and the other CSU player to successfully make the kick, was not immediately available for comment.

About the author

Kati Blocker has always been driven to learn and explore the world around her. And every day, as a writer for UCHealth, Kati meets inspiring people, learns about life-saving technology, and gets to know the amazing people who are saving lives each day. Even better, she gets to share their stories with the world.

As a journalism major at the University of Wyoming, Kati wrote for her college newspaper. She also studied abroad in Swansea, Wales, while simultaneously writing for a Colorado metaphysical newspaper.

After college, Kati was a reporter for the Montrose Daily Press and the Telluride Watch, covering education and health care in rural Colorado, as well as city news and business.

When she's not writing, Kati is creating her own stories with her husband Joel and their two young children.