TOUCHED BY OLIVIA

We recently connected with an extraordinary organisation that, like us, is a strong advocate for more inclusive learning environments to support the development of children with additional needs. I find the work of this organisation unique and inspirational.

Touched by Olivia is a foundation with a dream to give children “healthier and happier lives”, and invests its energy in two main areas.

With a commitment by the foundation reaching almost $1 million, a fellowship was established in 2009 to help save lives and cement Sydney Children’s Hospital as a centre of global expertise in the area of vascular birthmarks (the area of disease that Olivia died from).

The foundation also works with local councils, communities and corporations to upgrade and build inclusive play spaces, giving children, regardless of ability, the opportunity to play side by side. These playgrounds are called “Livvi’s Place”.

Visit http://touchedbyolivia.com.au to find out more about this wonderful organisation.

 

Jose Bello

Foundation Director


COMMUNITY...

We believe community plays a fundamental role in the success of our programs. Building community partnerships and receiving community support creates and maintains a solid platform for our programs to grow.

Community engagement can come in many different forms and levels. Waverley Council has been commendable in facilitating their impressive sports stadium to run our Eastern Suburbs class at no cost. They have also made financial contributions that go towards the development of our programs.

The Soccajoeys Foundation recently became a member of the Health and Wellbeing Collaboration (HAWC) program at Macquarie University, which serves as a cooperative agreement between Macquarie's Faculty of Human Sciences and our Foundation. Over the past four months, second year Physiotherapy students from the university have been performing observation tasks in our classes. Their enthusiasm, motivation and level of engagement with the children have been remarkable.

We have also worked closely with staff from Lifestart Co-operative. Their support and professionalism over the past four years have been incredible.

We have surrounded ourselves with individuals, groups and organisations that share common values, and that is why we believe that building a strong community is essential for both short-term and long-term improvements in our programs. 

 

Jose Bello

Foundation Director

WHY SOCCER?

You may ask, "why a soccer program?" The answer is quite simple, but entails a story.

Many of the individuals involved at the Soccajoeys Foundation are passionate ambassadors of the code and have competed at a high level. We enjoy being able to share our positive experiences from years of playing and pass on our knowledge of its developmental benefits.

Soccer is easy to learn. Most kids naturally run and kick a ball by the time they start walking, although not in the right direction, which takes time to teach.

It’s an excellent form of exercise that helps kids build strength and stamina, and develops important gross motor skills. Research tells us that children who play organised sports, such as soccer, at an early age are more likely to adopt healthy habits.

The physical benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, flexibility, coordination and balance, and weight control. Other benefits include the development of social traits such as discipline, teamwork, leadership, companionship, fairness, and self-esteem.

Soccer is a universal game, so no matter which country you visit, there will always be a round ball nearby and a group of young kids eager to enjoy a kick around. 

Foundation Director

Jose Bello

 

NEXT STEP TERM 2

Our Next Step Program will be celebrating it's 4th year of operations this Term. It's been a remarkable journey, and one that we feel is just beginning... although, during the last four years we have worked tirelessly to consolidate our program throughout the Sydney region, it's only in the last 7 months that our vision of a Foundation has come to life. For this reason we feel that it's the beginning of a new chapter, one that we hope will allow us to further expand our programs and continue to promote inclusive learning environments.

We would like to thank all the families and organisations that have supported us along the way, the gifted children that amaze us with their potential and capacity to progress and evolve, the coaches that make our program possible, and lastly, the individuals that have invested their time, energy and faith in making sure our vision of a Foundation became a reality.

We look into the future with excitement and enthusiasm. We hope you can join us on this new path and become supporters and advocates for our Foundations mission.

 

Jose Bello

Foundation Director