Sports have always been a part of my life. I tried karate, softball, basketball and soccer when I was younger. My dad is a huge Washington Redskins fan and I grew up watching professional football on television. I married someone who loves watching just about any kind of sports. For about seven years, from the time I was about 10 or 11 until I was 17, I played soccer. My nickname (which I actually had embroidered on my sports jacket) was "Tuffy." The hubby gets quite a chuckle out of that one :) I loved being part of a team. I have very fond memories of playing soccer with my "peeps." One thing I always hoped was that my kids would want to play. Lauren tried it and decided that she would go the route of competitive gymnastics which she did for a handful of years. She now does cheer and loves it. A few months ago on our local news, I heard about a special needs soccer group in the area. I have been looking for something like that for Dominic since he was about four. He has done a few sporting events at school through the Special Olympics, but I was searching for a group where he could play soccer. The group met for the first time this past Saturday. There are kids from the age of four up to the age of 10. All of them have special needs. Dominic was more interested in hanging out behind the net on Saturday, but that was fine. It was a little overwhelming for him. He had another practice last night and this time he participated better in the "drills" that Coach M. had him doing. Dominic called him "Coachman." A bonus of participating in this group is that you get your own soccer ball.
When we were driving back home after practice, Dominic held the ball in his lap the entire ride :) I love that there are organizations around like the Special Olympics and the group Dominic is participating in. It gives those kids with special needs a place where they can feel part of a team. I'm loving being a "soccer mom!"