Staying Internationally Connected

On December 5th, four former U.S. National Women’s soccer players conducted a week long clinic in Singapore. The coaches chosen were Janine Szpara, Anna Shortt, Karen Willoughby and Val Henderson.

“Our aim has been to share our experiences and knowledge of the game, to encourage them to continue to play the universal sport despite not having the greatest support from their families and culture. We’ve taught that soccer (or football) not only fosters a healthy lifestyle, but it also teaches so many skills that are applicable to life: confidence, teamwork, leadership, working towards a goal.

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On Wednesday we planned to work with boys and girls from Special Olympics Singapore. We faced difficult weather: 90 degrees on a hot turf, a potential thunderstorm looming. I imagined that we might have to change our program.

But what I found in this group was a bunch of coachable, enthusiastic, and happy young athletes. Despite the weather, they were giving their all and having a great time doing it. They had big smiles on their faces (unless they were frowning with determination). They high-fived and cheered each other on, worked on victory dances, and celebrated the smaller accomplishments of knocking over a cone with a pass and hitting the ball with laces instead of toes.

Everything our program embodies, I found it in the athletes of the Special Olympics: positive energy, true enjoyment of the sport, focusing on what you CAN control rather than what you can’t. I had a wonderful experience and feel grateful to have been a small part of the program. I just hope we were able to have as positive an impact on these young athletes as they had on us.” stated coach Val Henderson

Read the full article here.

Special Olympics teaches

“Special Olympics teaches that all human beings are created equal in the sense that each has the capacity and a hunger for moral excellence, for courage, for friendship and for love.” – Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Northwest area Volleyball team