Special needs soccer set to begin

Shown from left to right are Oswego Youth Soccer Association Board Member Gary Mace; volunteer Matt Mace; participants Madalyn and Evelyn Rupert; and volunteer Claudia Chetney.
Shown from left to right are Oswego Youth Soccer Association Board Member Gary Mace; volunteer Matt Mace; participants Madalyn and Evelyn Rupert; and volunteer Claudia Chetney.

As the spring soccer season is underway for many area youth, so begins the second season for children with special needs at the Richard Benjamin Soccer Complex in Oswego.

What started out last year as a Girl Scout Silver Project by then seventh-grader Claudia Chetney, has now taken off under the direction of Chetney, many other young soccer players and coaches affiliated with Oswego Youth Soccer Association.

“Giving these kids the opportunity to enjoy the game of soccer was the plan when I started this last year,” Chetney said. “But what I realized was that my teammates, friends and adults who helped each week were having as much fun as the participants so that it was just easy to say let’s keep this program going.”

The same rules apply to this year’s soccer session. “We don’t worry so much about rules, regulations, penalties, winning or losing, we just have fun,” Chetney said.

Last year’s program saw about 30-40 children each week, where they participated in small scrimmages, fun soccer games and even wheelchair soccer play.

The soccer session is just one part of a program called “Doing it Our Way,” organized out of the Parents of Special Children Office in Fulton.

The program was developed to allow special needs individuals tp participate in sports and other organized activities.

“Doing it Our Way” also provides opportunities for kids of all ages and abilities to play basketball, baseball, dance and be a cheerleader.

With the continued support of the Oswego Youth Soccer Association board of directors, which has made its facilities available, and the help of many adult coaches, and youth soccer players, children of all ages and abilities will be able to participate once again in soccer this spring.

The six-week session begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10 at the Richard Benjamin Sports complex located behind the Oswego Middle School.

Anyone interested in signing their child up for the upcoming soccer session may contact the Parents of Special Children office at 598-7672.

Volunteers are still needed to help with coaching and providing help to children on the field. Email Chetney at cchetney@oswego.org if you can help.

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