REACHING THEIR GOALS: Reis, center, speaks with two participants. Photo courtesy of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.
COACHES’ WHISTLES, soccer drills and player chatter are familiar sounds during soccer season at the Dana-Farber Field House at Gillette Stadium. Players on Sept. 27, however, included not only New England Revolution stars, but 70 area youth with disabilities enjoying an afternoon of fun and learning.
The MGH, the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and the Revolution partnered for the seventh year to host the free Youth with Disabilities Soccer Clinic. Revolution players Matt Reis, Zak Boggs, Bobby Shuttleworth, Tim Murray and Zack Schilawski as well as Revolution Academy coaches ran the participants through various drills to enhance their skills and enjoyment of soccer.
“The children who participate in this clinic spend so much of their lives hearing about what they can’t do, but after two hours of soccer with the Revolution players, they’re very eager to tell you all about what they can do,” says Jeff Davis, senior vice president of MGH Human Resources. “It’s a great feeling for everyone – the children, their parents and our staff. We’re very happy to offer this opportunity.”
Participants were a mix of MGH patients and members of Partners with Youth for Disabilities, Special Olympics, TOPS Soccer and Easter Seals. After the coaching, participants engaged in a question-and-answer session with the players and also received autographs.
“I really liked the New England Revolution Clinic. It was totally awesome and I would love to do it again. I really enjoyed how they worked with all of us,” says participant Jessie Bland.
Read more articles from the 10/7/11 Hotline issue.