MARIETTA, Ga. – It’s the day we’ve been waiting for, as the best soccer players around the world begin to take the field to compete in the FIFA World Cup 2018. But some local players are proving soccer doesn’t have to be competitive, and that sometimes the biggest wins come from the life lessons learned on the field.
The name stands for Sharing and Teaching all Abilities to Realize Self Strengths, and the program is specifically geared to young players with special needs. Will the young men and women learn the fundamentals of soccer? Yes. But program directors say they’ll also learn important skills including teamwork, self-confidence, and the benefits of physical activity.
The S.T.A.R.S. soccer program meets Fridays at 6:30 p.m. at McCleskey East-Cobb YMCA, located at 1055 E. Piedmont Road in Marietta.
In honor of the beginning of the World Cup, Paul spent the morning with some of the S.T.A.R.S. soccer players and volunteers, learning a few moves and also finding out why the program is so meaningful to those involved.