NJ YOUTH SOCCER AND NEWARK’S JUST ONE SOCCER HOST TOPSOCCER JAMBOREE FOR KIDS WITH DISABILITIES
NEWARK, NJ (December 16, 2014) ― Children with challenges now have more places to play soccer every week, just like any other child. In partnership with the Just One Soccer League, NJ Youth Soccer held a TOPSoccer training program and player jamboree event for coaches, buddies and children at the Waterfront Gymnasium in Newark on Sunday, December 14. In total, more than 20 volunteers gathered in the morning to learn how to run a NJ Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program in their own organizations and more than 20 youth participants from Newark, Elizabeth and West Orange joined the afternoon celebration full of soccer activities.
TOPSoccer provides a curriculum to train coaches and volunteers to provide fun and engaging soccer activities for young athletes with mental or physical disabilities. NJ Youth Soccer offers free training and mentoring to affiliated organizations. The program, designed by U.S. Youth Soccer, emphasizes player-specific development, training, and meaningful participation rather than competition and winning.
“We are proud that the TOPSoccer Jamboree creates an opportunity to help NJ Youth Soccer clubs develop a program for children with special needs with the goal of building physical literacy, fitness and, most importantly, self-esteem,” said Rick Meana, NJ Youth Soccer’s director of coaching. “Through our work with the Just One Soccer League, Newark has an opportunity to cultivate a program that can enable young athletes with disabilities to enjoy playing in a safe and healthy learning environment.”
“Youth soccer in the Newark area is extremely popular and it’s important that we offer programs that include all the children in our community,” said Oscar Rodriguez, executive director of Newark-based Just One Soccer League. “The TOPSoccer program opens the door for our challenged children to get involved and look forward to playing with their group every week, just like their siblings.”
The December 14 event was conducted with generous support and donations from adidas, New York Red Bulls, Sky Blue FC, Topps Trading Cards and JAG Physical Therapy. To learn more about NJ Youth Soccer’s TOPSoccer program, visit www.njyouthsoccer.com.
About NJ Youth Soccer Association
New Jersey Youth Soccer, a 501(c) (3) organization affiliated with U.S. Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Federation, is comprised of more than 156,000 players from 5 to 19-years-old; 40,000+ coaches; and thousands of volunteers. Members collectively support the sport of soccer through training, practice, competition and the spirit of good sportsmanship. The association features recreational, travel soccer programs at multiple skill levels; Olympic Development Programs (ODP); tournaments including the National Championship series; coach and referee training and certification programs; and TOPSoccer, a program for children with special needs. The New Jersey U.S. Youth Soccer ODP provides training and competitive programs for players of the highest caliber for the purpose of increasing the success of the U.S. National Teams.