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Special needs athletes to play in Top Soccer tournament

This weekend, children and adults with special needs will have the chance to show their athletic skills. The Meridian Youth Organization is hosting its 6th annual Top Soccer event.

“We have six teams playing. They will also have a special medal ceremony. It will be a lot of fun,” said Neil Henry, the Top Soccer director.

Friday starting at 5:30 p.m., over 50 special needs athletes will be here at the Jaycee Complex kicking the soccer ball around to of course try and score a goal. Top soccer is a program designed to get special needs athletes out of the stands and onto the fields.

“They’ve been seeing their brothers and sisters play. They see it on TV and participate in other sports. So why not soccer? We love the game. We love to play. We even have a huge soccer ball about this size that they can kick and sometimes jump on,” said Henry.

Players are between the ages of 5 to 53. Henry explained the event will give those with special needs the chance to get out doors and be active too.

“Top soccer is so important for athletes to come out and play the game because it gives you good hand-eye coordination. You’re using your feet. They can get out there and kick it, touch it, if they

want to pick it up that’s fine.”

Everyone is invited to come out and show their support.

It doesn’t matter if they are helping somebody, or if they’re on the sidelines cheering for somebody. We just encourage lots of high fives, hugs, and just to love on everybody,” said Henry.


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