Tennessee United Celebrates TUSC Stars Inaugural Season
October 16, 2019– Typically soccer players must be willing to commit and able to compete to experience the thrill the sport brings to life. For many children, though, not all who are willing are always able. Seeking to bring soccer to all those willing, Tennessee United Soccer Club launched the first season of TUSC Stars – a free soccer program for boys and girls with disabilities.
By partnering with the TN Stars group founded by Merrol Hyde Magnet School soccer coach Jim Carr under the TOPSoccer program, TUSC’s goal for TUSC stars is to help young athletes with mental or physical disabilities become valued and successful members of the US Youth Soccer family. When asked about the group’s growth, Coach Carr said, “Our partnership with TUSC has only enhanced the program and we are very excited about it. Every child has the right to enjoy the fun of playing sports, the joy of teamwork, the achievement of hitting a ball or making a goal or crossing the finish line.” TUSC Stars has also had a great partner in Shine Pediatrics this year. Thanks to Shine Pediatrics’ support, Stars received practice shirts and new practice balls.
The design of the program is free play structured around interaction with TUSC Stars Buddies which are volunteer youth soccer players and coaches from the community. This design has proven incredibly beneficial for all involved. Sessions held on Saturdays at Merrol Hyde Magnet School see dozens of participants as young as 5-years-old kicking, running, shooting, and trying out their moves in a relaxed, open environment.
Recently, the TUSC Stars celebrated at the HHS Field of Dreams at Drakes Creek Park during the Fall 2019 United Cup of Champions – TUSC’s competitive soccer tournament. At the tournament TUSC Stars players had their normal free play with scrimmaging added in as Stars Buddies, TUSC coaches and staff, and parents cheered. After the activities, TUSC Stars marched together through the park to the US Pest Award Ceremony Banner where they were awarded with an official UCOC medal for their contribution.
TUSC Director of Operations, Jonathan Wayland said of the first season, “We are excited about the season we have had. Many groups have come together for a common goal and good of these kids and the game. We want as many kids as possible to experience soccer.”
For more information on the program, visit www.tnunitedsc.com.