Children’s Teams That Play (Soccer) and Run Together, De-stress Together

The Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) team is having a ball this fall with their newly formed soccer team, aptly named “We Will Roc You.” They play weekly in the Atlanta Sport and Social Club recreational league and have rediscovered their love for soccer while getting to know work colleagues better. Best of all, the games are making a big difference in their physical and emotional well-being.

Anna Rodenbough, MD, Critical Care Physician, and Annie Boydston, BSN, RN, Assistant Nurse Manager, are among the more than 20 team members now kicking their stressors away. “A group of us who had all played soccer in the past decided it would be fun to hang out together outside of work, blow off some steam and get some exercise,” Anna said. “The last few years have been difficult for a lot of us—both personally and within our unit as a whole—and though I can’t speak for everyone, soccer has always been a cathartic release for me.”

“The response to joining the team was incredible. We’ve been excited to see how many folks are interested in joining the team. Our team includes MDs, APPs, RTs and RNs—and a few folks outside the PICU,” Anna added.

Annie echoed Anna’s sentiments. “One thing I have always loved about working in the PICU is the relationship that I have formed with my physicians, APPs, nurses and respiratory therapists. The critical situations we face each day force us to build strong relationships which, in turn, allows us to support each other through the ups and the downs. It has been rewarding to see this kind of teamwork translate from the bedside to the soccer field. It is nice to know that I can always count on these people both “on and off the field.”

Anna, who is in her fourth year at Children’s, recently completed her critical care fellowship and is the newest addition to the faculty group. She summed up the soccer experience, saying, “I think the thing I find most rewarding is working alongside the PICU team (and so many others outside our unit) to support children and their families through some of the worst moments of their lives. I feel truly grateful to be able to work with such brilliant, compassionate, hardworking people every day.”

Employees smiling at soccer tournament

Children’s Team Runs Lululemon 10K

The We Will Roc You soccer team isn’t the only group staying healthy together this fall. Another Children’s team of 23 healthcare workers and staff ran the inaugural lululemon 10k, held in downtown Atlanta in late October. Known as “the ultimate running party,” the event attracted runners from around Georgia.

Sara Szlam, Emergency Medicine physician, was one of those running in this first-of-its-kind event. “I had a great time,” she said. “I loved getting to meet so many familiar names and put them with a face.”

Employees at Lululemon race