By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
April 2, 2019-TOPSoccer stands for The Outreach Program for Soccer, an innovative program run by volunteers, which provides a safe and fun environment plus an opportunity for the child who deviates from the average kid in mental, physical or social characteristics and requires modified educational practices and services in order to develop to his or her potential.
The program has grown by leaps and bounds since the Huntington Boys Club (HBC) and Massapequa Soccer Club separately kicked off programs back in 1978. These Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) clubs started the first soccer program ever for children with special needs, not only in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) but in the entire world. Using the slogan of “Come Play With Me,” today there are 28 LIJSL clubs with TOPSoccer Programs stretching from Queens to the East End of Long Island:
LIJSL President Anthony Maresco and his wife Holly received the 2019 Marg McGory Award, for a person(s) who makes a huge difference in the LIJSL TOPSoccer Program, at the LIJSL Convention on March 8. The award’s namesake was instrumental in obtaining the use of the old Marydale Fields in Melville for the Special Children in the early days of the program.
The LIJSL TOPSoccer Spring Season kicks off on Saturday, April 6. Two highlights are the 4th Annual Commack TOPSoccer Festival on Saturday, May 4 at the Burr Intermediate School in Commack and the LIJSL TOPSoccer Tournament and Barbecue on Saturday, June 1 at Plainview’s Peter Collins Soccer Park, where TOPSoccer has been playing since the 1980’s. Both big events kick off at 9 am.
“Our TOPSoccer players are the nicest and most loyal people that you will ever meet,” commented LIJSL TOPSoccer Program Chairperson Ann Marie Toth. For more info or to register your child for the LIJSL TOPSoccer Special Children’s Program, please call her at 516-694-3567.
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.