E-Soccer comes to Guam
DEDEDO, GUAM – Parents of children with special needs and those raising their children to value empathy, compassion, leadership and selfless service are celebrating the arrival of E-Soccer on Guam.
Started in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2000, the program has grown to impact thousands of families around the world and its inaugural season on Guam kicks off on September 10th. Registration for the space-limited Guam program is open now through July 31st.
E-Soccer partners typically developing children and special needs children alongside each other in various athletic capacities. E-sports programs have revolutionized and pioneered the inclusive sports philosophy and have made an impact on special needs and typical families from California to Kenya. The program’s core philosophy is turning traditional notions of what makes a successful sports program on its head. Rather than personal success and skill performance, it is diversity and inclusion that make excellent athletes and winning teams. In E-Soccer, the child who is considered a “winner” is the one who strives to make the group successful and not just themselves.
Each individual E-Soccer group consists of a head coach, assistant head coach, and a combination of personal or junior coaches as needed. Children are placed in a group according to age, ability, and individual goals in a way to provide optimal group learning and individual participation. “We encourage parents to take time to get to know the head coach of their child’s group and communicate their child’s needs and goals,” explained Rhodora Silvestre McMillan, who grew up in Guam and who, along with her husband Brian McMillan, are spearheading E-Soccer locally.
Apart from the clear rewards for children with special needs, E-Soccer fills a gap in character education and training that is often not central enough in typical schools and athletic programs. For all coaches and children in E-Soccer, the inclusive environment teaches and trains special qualities of heart and character education: empathy, compassion, leadership, and selfless service, just to name a few.
“E-Soccer coaches and mentors are special people,” said Brian McMillan.
“They embrace the challenge of coaching an inclusive group and of designing team building strategies as well as soccer drills and techniques that are flexible and adapted to the learning styles, strengths and challenges of their players.”
Teenagers and middle school students have a great opportunity to serve as junior coaches and mentors in E-Soccer. This experience provides a special flavor of community involvement that will prepare them for leadership roles in high school, college, and on into their professional lives.
Opportunities for corporate sponsorship exist as well. “Except for the small registration fee, there are no other costs for families to participate,” said Charry Lopez, community outreach coordinator for the program. “E-Soccer operates from private donations, so we happily accept corporate sponsor help, as well as monetary and equipment donations at any time.”
Guam’s first E-Soccer season will run from September 10th through November 5th at the Dededo Sports Complex soccer field in Harmon. Registration to play on a team started on May 22 and is open through July 31st or until space is filled. This pilot program is for kids ages 5 through 18. Space is very limited for this exciting first season, however, families who don’t make the cut off will be placed on the list for possible future seasons.
Interested families must register in person. Download the registration form
Registration form and fee payment may be submitted: Sundays only, 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm at the Courtyard of the Humanities & Social Sciences Building, University of Guam.
E-soccer is a ministry of the Guam Christian Church. For registration questions, call Romy Alviedo at 727-4439 or Mona Alviedo at 888-6798, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.