RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — The Santa Margarita Catholic High School girls’ soccer team, coaching staff and parents provided more than 100 boys and girls with mental or physical disabilities with a day of soccer skills training and a variety of games and seasonal activities on campus Dec. 13 as part of the school’s 7th Annual TOPSoccer Holiday Fest.
TOPSoccer, an outreach program formed by U.S. Youth Soccer, is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. It is designed to give any young person age 5 and older who has a mental or physical disability an opportunity to learn and play soccer. Participants work on physical fitness, technical skills, courage and self-esteem.
After the children arrived at 11:30, they were given their participant’s T-shirt, assigned to a team and led through nine different stations, where activities ranged from a chance to play in freshly blown snow to face painting, a balloon artist, Santa and Mrs. Claus, trampolines and lots of opportunities to take shots on goals. A pizza lunch was provided, along with a group dance.
All participants received a medal from the SMCHS coaching staff at an award ceremony at the end of the afternoon.