Friday, August 12th, 2022 Evansville, Indiana – Indiana Soccer is excited to announce the launch of another TOPSoccer program to help serve the Evansville community. Thanks to Gabrielle Blosser for running point on this program. The IFJ Evansville TOPSoccer program will directly impact 15 players between the ages of 10 and up currently on the program.
“TOPSoccer is important to our community because any individual in the community should have the opportunity to play the sport they love. Everyone should be able to feel valued while doing something that they enjoy doing and also getting exercise at the same time.” Gabrielle Blosser – Indiana Fire Juniors TOPSoccer Liaison
Gabbi as she is popularly known in the Evansville soccer community decided to start a TOPSoccer program to provide an opportunity for those with special needs in the Evansville area to play soccer with other individuals. According to Gabbi, the program aims to help the athletes have fun, learn social skills, and participate in physical exercise.
Putting together a successful program requires input & contribution from key stakeholders in the community. Thanks to a group of volunteers consisting of Memorial High School girls' soccer team players, Gibson Southern High School players and coaches, Mater Dei players, FC Spirit players, parents and players from our club Indiana Fire South Academy, and students from Westside Catholic School that helped make the program initiation a success.
Starting a TOPSoccer program can present a variety of challenges and anxieties ranging from not knowing where to start, what resources to use, managing the program and how to mobilize the community to get onboard. However, Gabbi is quick to mention that Indiana Soccer Association helped throughout the process from start to finish. Thanks to the ISA TOPSoccer liaison, Joy Carter, for helping get the program up and running including but not limited to, getting players registered, providing possible games and drills that players can play while participating at our program, and helping facilitate what needs to be done to make sure that the program runs smoothly.
The vision for IFJ Evansville TOPSoccer is to create a positive environment of inclusion were players can have fun, play soccer, and know that they are welcome there. The program aims to help the players develop more positive social skills while playing soccer with others that are different ages than them. TOPSoccer will become the reason players are excited to return to the next session, and create a positive relationship with their buddy that assists them while they participate in the program. The program is already beginning to see athletes greatly bond with their buddies throughout each session.
Braxton W one of the TOPSoccer athletes at IFJ Evansville had this to say about the program, “I love coming to TOPSoccer and seeing my buddy.” His mom stated that he asks about TOPSoccer every day!