Friday, 02 April 2010 00:00
Manhasset Soccer presents their first-ever special needs soccer group this spring with the program debuting on Sunday, April 11. The program will be held on Sundays at 4 to 5 p.m. on Memorial Field, located across from the LIRR parking/Mary Jane Davis playground. The adaptive soccer program is offered by Manhasset Soccer and facilitated by Manhasset Special Education PTA (SEPTA) in response to the community’s request for a sports program for their children with special needs.
The program will provide support for children with learning, physical and developmental disabilities that might not be able to fully participate in the age/grade level soccer program offered by Manhasset Soccer.
“We are so excited to be offering our first adaptive soccer group,” Manhasset Soccer President Michael Lyons stated. “It is Manhasset Soccer’s goal to have all children playing and enjoying the game—now with this program, we can better serve the community’s special need population,” he added.
The program is designed to service the needs of children with disabilities with accommodations and support built into the program. There will be a low child-to-adult ratio, with parents invited to help model the drills and new skills introduced. Modification to better support the sensory processing concerns of the participants will also be made, like smaller groups playing on the field and less overstimulation from excess noise or visual input. Furthermore, the program is structured to support the focus and attention issues of the participants, with shorter play time for each game and each session lasting 50-60 minutes. The field size will also be smaller to help support the participants’ special needs.
Manhasset Soccer is assigning a special education trainer to run the sessions, outlining each session, guiding parent coaches and overseeing the program as it develops during the spring season.
“We are so delighted that this first-ever adaptive soccer program is here in Manhasset,” Manhasset SEPTA Co-President Ann Marie Moschitta noted. “We hope children of all ages will come out to be part of the pilot program to create what could be a new standard for all sports groups in our town,” she continued.
Manhasset SEPTA has received a great response from the community about this program starting, with parents of neighboring towns also asking if their children can participate. Manhasset Soccer has replied that all children, not just Manhasset residents, are welcomed to join as there are many children who attend schools in the town that would like to play on the team with their classmates.
The adaptive soccer team will follow the intramural schedule, with the fee ($125) and registration forms found under the school aged intramural program listing on the Manhasset Soccer website. Participants are now being accepted with all registration done online at www.ManhassetSoccer.com.