WESTFIELD, Ind. (June 25, 2018) - US Youth Soccer’s Midwest Region hosted the TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) Midwest Showcase on Monday at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.
TOPSoccer is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. This was the first TOPSoccer event to be included in a US Youth Soccer National Championship Series event as it took place on the rest day of the 2018 US Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships.
Suzette Amelung, the mother of five-year-old Jonathan, drove an hour and a half so her son could be one of the 50 participants today.
“It was amazing to see all the volunteers interact with the athletes and the joy on everybody’s face,” Amelung said. “It is great to see him be involved in a sporting event.”
One of the 150 volunteers today was Brandon Pfeiffer, a referee at the Midwest Regionals, who took advantage of the opportunity to help as TOPSoccer hits close to home for him.
“I have a sister with disabilities that inspired me to help out kids with disabilities,” Pfeiffer said. “It was a good time playing with these kids and making their day.”
Teams on their off day came out to support the athletes instead of doing other activities such as mini golf or go karting, one of those teams being 17U Boys Galaxy 2001 Blue (IL).
“We talked about our options like going putt putt or go karting or see a movie and this was an option that they said let’s go to this,” said head coach Jay Konrad. “This shows a lot about the character of our kids.”
Colin Iverson, a member of Galaxy 2001 Blue (IL), wants to become a special education teacher when he is older and was glad to be there to support the athletes during the event.
“I love doing this and seeing all the smiles on the kids’ faces is awesome,” Iverson said. “This event brings everyone together.”
With this being the first year of the event there was no clue what to expect, but it was a blast for everyone involved. The athletes and volunteers all received medals at the conclusion of the event.
The Midwest Region will host the TOPSoccer Midwest Showcase again at next year’s regionals.
For more information about the TOPSoccer program, visit here: https://www.usyouthsoccer.org/programs/topsoccer/