Special Olympics Duluth added this sport of soccer in 1995 with five athletes. Three years later, nearly 20 athletes train and compete in team and individual competition. SO Duluth adapts the individual skills training program to accomodate persons with physical disabilities.
Training begins in August and ends with Special Olympics Minnesota's Soccer and Table Tennis Tournament in October.
Contact Coach Bert Wachlin for more information.
Soccer (football) is probably the worlds most popular sport for children and adults around the world. Similarly, soccer is one of the most popular sports for Special Olympics athletes. At the 1995 World Games in New Haven, CT, more than 100 athletes from 67 countries participated in soccer (football) competition. In all, it is estimated that over 150,000 athletes compete in Special Olympics soccer (football) competition worldwide.
Playing soccer (football) requires very little equipment. Because it is easy to learn, soccer (football) is appropriate for a wide range of age and ability levels. Athletes who participate in soccer (football) are able to improve their overall physical fitness through training and competition. Because it is a team sport, athletes learn firsthand the benefits of playing as a team. This promotes communication, camaraderie and friendships.
Special Olympics Minnesota offers a variety of soccer (football) events from which athletes can choose to participate. The soccer (football) competition offerings are based upon athletes ability levels. A summary of those competition offerings follows;
Special Olympics soccer (football) is offered in 130 Nations around the world. Additionally, every state in the U.S. offers Individual, Team, and/or Unified SportsŪ competition.
Pele, perhaps the greatest football player of all time, is a strong advocate and supporter of the Special Olympics soccer (football) program. He, along with other international stars, regularly conduct clinics to promote Special Olympics soccer (football). Last year, several superstars, including Hubert Vogelsinger, participated in a Unified SportsŪ soccer (football) competition which featured Special Olympics athletes playing with and against professional soccer (football) players.
The Special Olympics soccer (football) program is a member of the United States Soccer (Football) Association and has worked together with the Soccer Industries Council of America (SICA) to promote the sport worldwide. With the cooperation of FIFA, Special Olympics was able to parallel professional competition at the 1994 World Cup and conduct a few demonstrations prior to major games at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, and Giants Stadium in New Jersey.