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Special Olympics Soccer Players Converge on UMPI

| September 17, 2013

SOSOCCERWEB from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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Soccer season is in full swing and today was the day for Special Olympians to showcase their soccer skills. The annual Northern Region State Soccer competition was held at the University of Maine Presque Isle.

 

Debbie Lamont has organized this event for 17 years and is happy with the number of competitors

“For athletes we were able to have enough individuals for 6 10 person teams. We also had about 25 people who were there for the skills competition.”

Ian Frank of the State office says that the organizers of the event do a great job

” As always this is a great event.  We have got the University of Maine Presque Isle that is given us these beautiful facilities. Their two soccer teams come out and act as coaches and clinicians throughout the day”

The soccer skills event has been organized by a Presque Isle Company for almost 2 decades

“It’s MMG’s 17th year for running this event for Special Olympics.”

The athletes love the day and over the past few years Olympians have progressed from having mentors showing them what to do to competing head to head

” It’s been a great evolution. From shadowing  our athletes with an UMPI player. We have now evolved into just  having our athletes out there. It seems the training being done prior to coming to competition  is paying off. The athletes have the skills necessary to out and compete with their peers.”

Alan Gordon of the University of Maine Presque isle helps organize student volunteers and they come out in droves

“We have always had our men’s and women’s soccer teams involved with Special Olympics athletes and  the last couple years we have added some of our Physical Education Majors. Many of them are athletes. in their own right. It has been a combination that has really worked well for us. It’s an exciting day of soccer and great for the Olympians and the UMPI students.”

Gordon says this is a great way to get some practical experience for PE students

” It’s the one thing we try to do at UMPI is try to give kids the opportunity to  get hands on experience.  When they get out into the real world and many of them are teachers, this is a great chance for them to practice the skills they are going to be doing someday.”

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