This past weekend, the Strathmore Soccer Association (SSA) hosted an event to train coaches in hopes of developing an adaptive and inclusive soccer program. 

“Train the Trainer Soccer Day with SSA” was held at Crowther Memorial Junior High School this past Sunday. 

SSA invited youth aged 3–18 years old and their families or caregivers to join them in assisting and training their coaches. 

Ryan Parkin, technical director with Strathmore Soccer, says that this has just been one step in developing an adaptive, inclusive, and accessible soccer program to meet the needs of physically disabled and neurodivergent youth players. 

“With an adaptive program, we will be able to offer specialized equipment for physically disabled and neurodivergent youth players, such as high-visibility soccer balls and potentially some mobility aids,” Parkin said. 

SSA has been working closely with Soccability Canada, an organization that focuses on developing soccer for people with disabilities. 

“We are not just creating a one-size-fits-all program, but rather something with enough flexibility to provide a quality program regardless of an individual's needs.” 

On top of all the standard coaching courses that are required under Canada’s Soccer Quality Licensing program, this will be additional education where coaches will get specific training to coach kids with adaptive needs. 

“Since I took on the role of technical director, it has been my goal to make soccer accessible to as many community members as possible.” 

Parkin hopes that with the addition of all the new age groups and the new adaptive needs program, the soccer community in Strathmore will see substantial growth. 

“This is something we are excited to see finally become a reality, and it's not something we have done autonomously. We have had support from a number of key players within our organization and also from members of the public who helped us network with the community. We are thankful for the community that has helped us get to where we are now.” 

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