FROM THE SIDELINES: A MUM'S PERSPECTIVE
My sons Marcus (5 years) and Oliver (3 years) are incredibly eager participants in the Soccajoeys Next Step program – in fact, it's the highlight of their week! Marcus' gross motor and soccer skills have developed at a really steady rate, as have his skills at following instructions, peer engagement, turn-taking and taking great pride in his weekly performance. Initially a timid player, Marcus now confidently follows through when kicking the ball and feels great delight when he's lucky enough to score a goal in the big game! Oliver has moved beyond the sidelines and is now a keen player too, loving the opportunity to be part of the soccer skills and to play with his big brother and other new soccer friends.
Both boys have developed confidence as soccer players, and as parents we love the sibling play that has evolved as a result of playing together in Soccajoeys. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunities both boys have had by being members of the Next Step program.
Coaches Jose and Fran are remarkably patient, fair, inclusive and very clear in their instructions. They both bring enormous energy and commitment to our rockstar Soccajoeys, setting all team members on a path of playing soccer in the future. The class follows a regular structure which demonstrates an understanding of the needs of ASD kids, and most importantly, the coaches bring a terrific sense of fun and fairness every single week. It's great to bring your children along to a soccer class where different behaviour doesn’t result in them from being excluded from the game. Instead, the coaches work to involve all players with all their unique quirks.
Sport can be a great equaliser, and Jose is knowledgeable and passionate about equipping special needs children with soccer skills that enable them to progress into mainstream classes and teams. Inclusion is what it's all about, and Soccajoeys feels like a united family working together to help our amazing kids.
A very big thank you to Jose and Fran for all you do for both our boys each week, and to the Soccajoeys Foundation for making these classes available. I can't speak highly enough of what you've done for both Marcus and Oliver. You both sure deserve the snakes Marcus loves to share with you and his teammates post-game each week!