E-Soccer program for typical & special needs children marks successful inaugural season
DEDEDO, GUAM – Sixty youth players along with over thirty coaches and junior coaches, cheered on by their parents and family members, will take to the field one last time as Guam’s inaugural season of E-Soccer comes to a close this Saturday, November 5, 2016 at the Dededo Sports Complex soccer field. For the past 8 weeks, they’ve met every Saturday to play soccer as it’s rarely played on the average soccer field – in a setting that celebrates inclusive sports for players of all abilities and disabilities. The final games start at 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by an end-of-season awards ceremony at 5:15 p.m.
The twelve teams from Season One will celebrate their hard work and newfound friendships with a final team huddle, player medals, photo opps and post-game refreshments and fun.
“I’m happy to announce that we’re already planning for season two next Spring,” said Brian McMillan who, along with his wife Rhodora Silvestre McMillan, is spearheading E-Soccer on Guam. “The response we’ve heard from parents and coaches throughout this first season has been overwhelmingly positive and we are encouraged to see that the program is filling a real need in the community.”
The organization is collecting and recording feedback from participants that will inform further development of the program. “The kids, parents and community have really embraced E-Soccer’s fundamental approach,” B. McMillan said. The program emphasizes inclusion and diversity in the service of raising children to value empathy, compassion, leadership and selfless service while experiencing self-worth and friendship.
Rhodora McMillan anecdotally referred to highlights from participants’ feedback: Some typically developing players simply enjoyed the chance to be a part of a team where competitive pressure and athletic ability were non-factors. “Parents said that the supportive environment allowed their kids to simply enjoy the game and get some exercise,” R. McMillan explained. For special needs players, “Parents were grateful and delighted that their kids were embraced, supported and celebrated by their team members.” And for junior coaches, “Every time they rose to the occasion -- wherever and whenever they were needed – they knew they were participating first-hand in creating something really special.”
E-Soccer’s inaugural season was made possible by generous donations from these community-minded sponsors: C2 Social, Calvo's Insurance, Coast 360, Cost u Less, DcSigns, Department of Parks & Recreation, iCan Resources, One-Stop Auto Care & Tire Outlet, Rambies, StayWell Insurance, Tan Holdings and Wendy's.