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Unionville-Milliken SC Celebrates Special Needs Program Success

By OSA News, 09/29/15, 6:45PM EDT


Unionville-Milliken Soccer Club celebrated their end of season Rep Awards with some very special volunteers. This year, the Club had extraordinary success in their special needs soccer program called High-5. There were 30 volunteers, meaning that every player in the program had their own personal Assistant Coach for the whole summer!

Volunteers came from the Club's Rep and House league programs, and Program Leader and Club Director Alana Aird claimed "We wouldn't have been able to do it without them".  Rep Ambassadors in the High-5 Program were recognized this past Friday at their own Banquet and the High-5 youth coaches from House League & Rep will be recognized at the UMSC Volunteer Banquet on October 16th. Alana elaborated "I have emails from parents saying how grateful they were for the program and that they had unexpected milestones reached. This has been the most rewarding volunteer experience and to see teenagers with compassion and commitment to others tells me that we are on the right path". 

Players will be starting the 17-week Indoor High-5 Program (1 session per week for 11 weeks) starting in November and 6 additional weeks starting in February at the Milliken Soccer Dome. The entire dome will be dedicated for the High-5 Teams' use, and as the Club has now connected with the Centre for Dreams, they hope to include adults with disability to provide soccer for all ages.

Thanks to the Coaching Disabled Footballers course funded by RBC Learn to Play and hosted by the OSA and the Abilities Centre in Whitby, the Club was able to connect with other clubs and attended its first All Abilities Soccer tournament this summer in Pickering.  Unionville-Milliken Soccer Club has been providing programs for athletes with special needs for many years, but the Club stated, "the program has tripled this past summer since we participated in the course, and our families spread the word about the one-on-one coaching with our amazing Youth Ambassadors."

Congratulations to UMSC on the success of their programming for players with special needs in their community.  They are a great example of "Grassroots Soccer is for All".

Click here to learn more about UMSC and their programs.