Esuah formed part of our first Eastern Suburbs group that started in February 2012. It was an exciting time for our program, as we had partnered with the Lifestart Co-operative Eastern Sydney branch for a funding proposal, and we were delighted to receive news of its approval. The grant was provided by Botany Bay City Council, and gave us the financial resources to run two consecutive terms in Alexandria.
The group was awesome! We had eight kids and I was supported by two amazing Lifestart workers named Eliza and Cally. Esuah displayed very early in the program a natural ability to learn the skills quickly. He seemed destined to pursue a pathway to a local soccer club, and we were there to ensure that Esuah understood the fundamentals of soccer and the concept of participating in a team, as well as assisting him in increasing his skill level.
Esuah completed five terms of our Next Step program and was excelling in all areas of his development. It was by this stage that we recommended he join a local soccer club. His parents were delighted with the idea and were committed to pursuing a new pathway.
Esuah joined Queens Park FC in 2013 and is now playing in his second season. As you can see by the photos, he's thoroughly enjoying the experience. We heard he even scored 10 goals in one match, which is very impressive!
Once again, we applaud the parents for venturing into unknown territory and giving it a go.
Having a child who has special needs can sometimes require strategic planning just to get simple everyday activities done. For our son, Esuah, who is on the autism spectrum, this involves avoiding certain environments that would be overly stimulating for him, as it can cause meltdowns and stress for all.
So when we were offered the chance through Lifestart to participate in a soccer training program with Soccajoeys Next Step, I hoped for the best, but feared that he just wouldn't be able to cope in such an environment. Thankfully, I was wrong!
Right from the first moments, I was impressed by the professionalism, expertise and most of all the child management of his coach, Jose. The class consisted of eight children with differing special needs, and was conducted with the utmost precision, coordination and care.
It was this care that not only allowed the children to participate in a challenging environment, but after a short time, every child progressed remarkably with their skills as well as their ability to listen and follow instructions.
Such was the development of my son that after only two seasons with Soccajoeys Next Step, he went on to play with Queens Park FC and is one of the better players in his age group, which is no doubt largely due to what he learnt with Jose.
We are truly thankful for the opportunity to participate with Soccajoeys Next Step and wish everyone involved all best for the future. I would recommend Soccajoeys Next Step to all parents.
Nik (Esuah's Dad)