E-Soccer was established in 2000 by Russ Ewell, the minister of the Bay Area Christian church in San Francisco, California. Russ has two sons with special needs and as he was looking for a sport for his sons to participate in, he could not find one that fit their needs. Russ and a good friend who had a love for soccer, Greg Bodzioch, gathered children to play at a park, and there is where E-Soccer was born. The “E” stands for “Exceptional” and “Educational”. Since 2000, E-Soccer has grown to various cities around the Bay Area of California, and branched out to Las Vegas, India, and the Philippines. Since its inception, E-Soccer has impacted thousands of families.
The mission of E-Soccer is many and various, but its major focus is on inclusion and community. Where this program has been implemented, along with athletic development, it has proven to be a strong tool promoting a sense of leadership, belonging, purpose, and good character for each child in an individualized manner. The benefits of this program also include positive sportsmanship, with the emphasis on teaching typical children that though some people are different, they are no less important to God and society. This exemplifies ethical conduct amongst our typical children while integrating children with special needs, and their families, into an exciting, accepting, and loving community, which is inclusion. When a child of any background feels accepted and included, they thrive as it brings out the best in them. Through all of this, one of the greatest aspects of this program is that these children actually learn from one another as they play and interact with each other. It is a unique program that all of Guam can benefit from.
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