Soccajoeys Next Step
Soccajoeys Next Step has been established since January 2011 and is a tailored soccer program for families that have children with additional needs aged three to nine years and who maybe in early childhood intervention programs. The program encourages inclusion learning and provides children with the opportunity to increase their physical, emotional and cognitive development in a fun and safe environment.
The main objective of the Next Step Program is to integrate participants into mainstream programs, local soccer clubs and assist children in their transition to school. In the first 4 years of the next step program classes were provided to 150 children of which 45 joined Soccajoeys mainstream program. Of these, nine children have joined local soccer clubs and have entered into mainstream school programs.
The program has been shown to deliver numerous benefits for participants including: the encouragement and generalisation of speech and language skills, increases in receptive language abilities, improvements in gross motor planning, development of friendships leading to enhancements in social awareness, understanding of new concepts and an ability to transition to mainstream activities.
With the support of the Soccajoeys Foundation this program’s operation will be provided to families at no cost.
This program will assist children who are from disadvantaged backgrounds (these may include indigenous groups, refugees and/or other vulnerable community groups) who are aged 3 to 9 years. Here participants will be able to obtain the benefits of our development program. The Soccajoeys Foundation hopes to continue and further develop this program to reach an even greater audience.
Soccajoeys Foundation has identified that disadvantaged children participate in physical activities at a rate far below those children who are not disadvantaged. The Soccajoeys Connect Program, seeks to correct this imbalance through tailored all inclusive soccer programs.
The Soccajoeys Connect program also provides soccer skills clinics to indigenous children. Currently 75% of indigenous children between 3.5 and 4.5 years of age do not attend any formal early childhood service. Soccajoeys Connect will aim to reverse this through the provision of formal soccer skills clinics.