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Sun Shines On First-Ever Washington Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Competition!
Last weekend, Washington Youth Soccer TOPSoccer coaches and staff brought the state's TOPSoccer players together for the first-ever festival-style competition in TOPSoccer history!
Through a new partnership with Special Olympics Washington, Washington Youth Soccer conducted the first-ever TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) Competition on May 6, as part of Special Olympics Washington's NW Regional Competition in Marysville.
TOPSoccer is Washington Youth Soccer's program for players 4 years of age and older who have developmental and/or physical disabilities. The program is based on skill level, not age, and participants include players, coaches and buddies – volunteers who are paired with each player to assist with the game. TOPSoccer creates an opportunity for players with disabilities to be part of the soccer community, where they grow emotionally and physically and where their families, coaches and buddies connect to share in the joy of playing soccer.
At the TOPSoccer Competition, Special Olympics Washington provided field time, referees and lunch to the TOPSoccer players and buddies, who enjoyed a full day of fun and games! Teams from Tukwila TOPSoccer, Maple Valley TOPSoccer and Snohomish TOPSoccer all made the drive up north to Marysville-Pilchuck High School for the opportunity to play against their TOPSoccer peers.
Each team played two games throughout the day, with teams fielding three TOPSoccer players and two buddies — for maximum touches on the ball, no goalies were used, and most of the games played featured just the TOPSoccer players on the field, as the buddies cheered from the sidelines!
"The first annual TOPSoccer competition was a great success and we hope to use it as the start of something big in the near future," says Tom Tate, Program Administrator and coach of Maple Valley TOPSoccer. "The players experienced competition and all that goes with being part of a team, along with playing one of the most demanding sports. The skills, effort and determination displayed were something everyone appreciated and cheered. Thanks to Special Olympics Washington and Washington Youth Soccer for a great day."
Washington Youth Soccer would like to also thank Re:Newal Water, who donated five cases of their environmentally sustainable water to the TOPSoccer Competition, all of the volunteers and buddies who came out to participate, and of course, Special Olympics Washington for hosting the event.
"For years we have been talking about how great it would to have a TOPSoccer competition and to see it happen was a dream come true," says Coach Colin, of the Snohomish TOPSoccer team.
For more information or to see photos from the event, check out the TOPSoccer Facebook page. Then, become involved in the TOPSoccer program in your local community by visiting WashingtonYouthSoccer.org and locating "TOPSoccer" under the "Programs" tab!
Washington Youth Soccer • 500 S. 336th St. Suite 100 • Federal Way, WA 98003
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