Soccer is not only considered one of the most popular sports on the planet, it is also one of the sports that most unites people regardless of race, status or disability.
Lisa Miley, special education teacher, and former soccer coach in minor categories, is the director of this admirable and wonderful program, Top Soccer, a soccer program for children with disabilities. Her passion for soccer has not only led her to enjoy this sport, but also to give back to the community with her experience.
"I love soccer. I played it from a very young age and also when I attended the University of Oklahoma. Since then I've always loved it," said Lisa.
Lisa, who was a trainer for years at the Edmond Soccer Club, was at that time offered to be a soccer coach for special children. This proposal gave her the opportunity to give something important to the community.
"I did it at the beginning for a while and was very happy to do it, but nevertheless I felt that I did not receive the necessary support and I had to stop. Then later, the organizers asked me again and I said yes, but as long as I received the support that the children need," said Lisa, who also assures that this type of program takes a lot of effort and dedication. The Top Soccer program under the direction of Lisa has been around for 8 years.
The Top Soccer program has allowed children to have a different experience and a lot of fun despite the different conditions they have. Some of these children have autism, Down syndrome, or a physical disability. For Lisa, the success of the program is due to the model implemented, which consists of including people from different communities to train children.
"Instead of having parents coaching their children, our model is based on having volunteers serve as coaches, this allows family members to witness and enjoy their children while practicing," said Lisa, who with her experience in special education , guides the coaches on how children should be treated with these needs.
Rose Trigg, mother of 12-year-old Top Soccer player, Joseph who has a form of autism, joined the program last spring, and for her it has been a very beautiful experience just being able to see her son learn soccer skills every Sunday and the discipline that Joseph has developed.
"I saw Joseph do things he did not usually do, like running with the ball, kicking it, he put forth a lot of effort, and it was really impressive and exciting, because they were things he did not do at home," said Rose.
For Rose, it is important that there are such programs that help your child and others are within a community.
"I think this program is great, not only for Joseph, but for all children in the community ... usually children feel they are not part of a group, or accepted, even children who do not have disabilities. Being able to be in a place where children are accepted, are part of a group, stimulated, and where their spirit and soul are filled with happy things. It's a wonderful opportunity,” Rose said.
To register as a trainer for these kids and be part of this great Top Soccer organization in Edmond, you can go to www.gotsport.com
and fill out the background check form or contact Lisa Miley through the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org