INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 18, 2013) — Laura Ellen Aspelund of Anchorage, Alaska, was honored as the 2012 US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award recipient at the US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, held in conjunction with the 2013 US Youth Soccer Workshop in Indianapolis. US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer is the outreach program for soccer.
Though she’s just a sophomore in high school, 15-year-old Laura Ellen Aspelund has made an impact on TOPSoccer participants, as she encourages players like her buddy, Mark, to try new things and embrace the game and life. In addition to being a buddy, Aspelund is also a certified TOPSoccer coach. Aspelund maintains a 4.0 GPA while balancing her work with TOPSoccer, other volunteer efforts and her own playing career, which included a spot on the Alaska Olympic Development Program team.
The recipient of the TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year award is selected by the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors on the basis of his or her demonstration of patience, understanding, dependability, flexibility and the ability to adjust to ever-changing on-field situations. The Buddy of the Year is an invaluable volunteer who facilitates the program by filling many roles, including being a coach, cheerleader and role model as well as assisting when needed with administrative responsibilities. Other important qualities of the buddy are engaging players one-on-one, modeling desired behavior and being cognizant of player safety. Buddies assist, guide, direct and teach the game of soccer and its skills while creating a fun learning experience.
For bios on each of the regional award winners, click here