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TOPSoccer announces practice, game schedule

MADISON COUNTY – Tony Schroeder is making sure the game of soccer is open to all children.

In early 2010, Schroeder worked to organize TOPSoccer, or The Outreach Program for Soccer, which is open to children with special needs. The program is associated with the United States Youth Soccer Association.

The North Alabama TOPSoccer program is open to any child with a physical or mental disability between 6 to 18 years old who wants to play soccer. Schroeder now serves as director of Alabama TOPSoccer. He emphasizes ability — not a disability.

TOPSoccer’s season starts March 17 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Schroeder is working to schedule a practice field. Players returning from the fall season who don’t need a new uniform will pay $20. “Let me know you are returning so we can have an accurate count of players for the upcoming year,” he said.

Schroeder needs sizes for players who need a new uniform. This fee is $30. Parents also must complete registration and medical forms.

Registration will continue at the Merrimack Soccer Complex on March 9. The season opener is March 17. Soccer practice will be held on April 7, 14, 21 and 28, along with May 5 and 12. The end-of-season banquet is planned for May 19.

TOPSoccer provides meaningful learning, development and physical participation opportunities to these young athletes through the game of soccer. The emphasis of this program is on development, training, and meaningful participation rather than on competition.

TOPSoccer was formed to perpetuate the U.S. Youth Soccer mission statement “to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition.”

Schroeder said the organization’s goal is “to enable thousands of young athletes with disabilities to develop their physical fitness, technical skills, courage and self-esteem through the joy and excitement of playing soccer.”

For more information, call Schroeder at 256-457-8330 or visit naltopsoccer.com.

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