South Bay VIP Soccer Program
South Bay VIP Soccer is an EPIC program run by the American Youth Soccer Organization and is designed for children with developmental or physical disabilities who want to play soccer. EPIC Soccer teams include children who are visually impaired, deaf, mentally challenged, autistic, or who have Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or other conditions that impair mobility, strength, and/or comprehension.
A full description of the whole program can be found on the EPIC page on the AYSO National web site.
Our program was started in the fall of 2003 to serve children with disabilities who otherwise would not have the opportunity to play soccer. We have adapted the game of soccer so that every child can play regardless of their ability. For example, we use balls that beep for our visually impaired players. We have served over 500 children since our inception.
The program is designed to be flexible and creative. Ensuring the success of players is a priority. Teams have between 6 and 8 players and are co-ed. Older and younger players form their own divisions. The program operates in Cupertino. Sessions are conducted once a week on Sundays. Each soccer session includes a warm-up, some skill-developing workshops, and a scrimmage. The players experience the benefits of sports participation in a supportive, fun environment.
VIP Soccer helps more than just the players. Buddies and other volunteers increase their appreciation and understanding of individuals with special needs. They find their lives greatly enriched by their involvement with their new VIP Soccer friends. For parents, the VIP program provides a team sports experience that the whole family can enjoy.
For children with special needs there are many barriers that they must overcome in their lives. The South Bay VIP Soccer Program eliminates some of these barriers, so that children with disabilities can participate in soccer just like everyone else. Since its founding in 1964, AYSO's main philosophy has been "Everyone plays". This program makes this key philosophy a reality.
The AYSO South Bay VIP Soccer program is run jointly by the following Regions:
The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) was established in 1964. AYSO serves local communities and is run by volunteers. AYSO is dedicated to providing a safe and fun environment in which all children regardless of ability can play the game of soccer. The American Youth Soccer Organization is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.