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The US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training and team program to help young athletes with disabilities, build their skills while allowing them to have fun at the same time.  TOPSoccer is organized by youth soccer volunteers, with one youth player matched to each TOPSoccer participant, and is designed to give the opportunity to learn how to play soccer to any child with any disability.  TOPSoccer’s goal is to give the thousands of athletes with disabilities a chance to become real members of the US Youth Soccer family, while at the same time offering existing youth players the chance to make a difference within their community. TOPSoccer was formed to make the US Youth Soccer mission statement which is, in part, “to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition’ a reality for all.”  With over 10% of school aged children identified by the National Center for Educational Statistics with some sort of disability, it is extremely important that all children be given the chance to build athletic skills and exercise through programs like TOPSoccer program.  TOPSoccer is also not divide by age like most sports programs are, TOPSoccer is organized by skill and ability so everyone has fun in every game.  The uniqueness of the TOPSoccer program is that each program differs and is formed around the needs of the participants in the differing communities.

Yamhill County will hugely benefit from the TOPSoccer program and the founder of YCSC, Karen Wright states, “we are already including many children with disabilities within our small-sided games program, but our goal to to get every child active and engaged. Our next club goal is to help start a TOPSoccer program for Yamhill County.  Like the motto of US Youth Soccer, we too believe that soccer truly is a “game for all kids” “. The YC Soccer Club is dedicated to making a difference in the health and community involvement of all the children, and the TOPSoccer program will benefit the many children who are now being left out of sports, and are missing a sense of belonging within their community.

Josie Wright