GOALS (Giving Opportunities to All who Love Soccer)

  • Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Status

The Problem

GOALS, or Giving Opportunities to All who Love Soccer, is a non-profit bi-monthly Unified soccer program for youth ages 8 to 14, with and without intellectual disabilities. GOALS fosters inclusion and breaks down barriers by partnering youth athletes who have intellectual disabilities with peer buddies, and they play together as a Unified team in non-competitive, small-sided scrimmages. My dream is to change the stigma surrounding youth with intellectual disabilities and create a more inclusive community by harnessing the power of sports. Our impact is measured in the number of friendships forged and the negative perceptions erased because of Unified soccer.

Our Plan

What is so unique about GOALS is its non-competitive model: unlike any Special Olympics programs in Arizona, the purpose of GOALS is to provide a forum for positive social interaction between youth with and without intellectual disabilities. Each partnership is formed with the athlete in mind, and the partners continue to play together every event, creating meaningful friendships no other program has the capacity to do. Through our affiliation with Special Olympics International and partnerships with the Down Syndrome Network and Youth Service America, we have expanded our ability to create Unified soccer events twice a month. However, with the infamous Arizona summer quickly approaching, it is crucial that we move indoors to play soccer. Our next step as an organization is to introduce the athletes to an indoor version of soccer, a sport known as futsol.

Themes Addressed

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    Food Choices

The Benefit

About Roots & Shoots

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