Wilton Soccer Association (“WSA”) is ready for its quickly approaching spring season. Dozens of volunteers and a team of pro coaches will again lead over 750 Wilton players across recreational and competitive programs built to match the goals of every player.
One such program enjoying growth is the 3rd-8th grade recreational soccer program appropriately nicknamed “Just for Kicks”.
Three years ago, the Free Play Matters Task Force of the Wilton Youth Council and WSA teamed up to re-launch and promote an offering to serve an age group that statistically is at risk to stop participating in athletics and physical activities altogether.
The objective of Wilton Youth Council’s Free Play Matters Task Force is to inspire and educate the community about the critical importance of Free Play, and to facilitate the creation of more free play and free range opportunities for children. The Just for Kicks program does just that, running in parallel to WSA competitive team offerings and serving as a continuation after the highly successful in-town Tots, Pre-K, and K-2nd grade programs.
“This program is built to appeal to experienced and new players alike by offering quality soccer skill development and fun gameplay led by professional coaches, conveniently scheduled sessions and an attractive price so all can play,” WSA volunteer and “Just for Kicks” program director, Steve Francia emphasized.
Wilton Youth Council’s Executive Director Chandra Ring applauds the program for Wilton children, as “a tremendous opportunity for kids to come together, learn new soccer skills but as importantly gain valuable life skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. Without having to think about it, players learn teamwork, collaboration and communication in a fun-filled environment.”
Even the simple fact that the program has a clinic situated right after school offers children benefits and growth opportunities. Children walk from school to meet their coaches at the field behind school, and in a small and safe way, this builds a sense of responsibility (“did I pack all my gear”), and of freedom and accomplishment (“I made it!” and “I am ready” after they prepare for their sessions) — not to mention the fun and interactive soccer/play that follows.
On Sunday, Mar. 20 at 5-6 p.m., in partnership with the Middlebrook PTA, WSA will host a free Just for Kicks soccer session at Lilly Field (395 Danbury Rd.). All are welcome and it’s an opportunity to experience the joy of playing soccer whether you are new to the game or have played before.
WSA also offers TopSoccer each season. This adaptive soccer program provides players with intellectual, emotional, and or physical challenges a safe and fun place to play and make friends. A team of Wilton High School student-athletes or “buddies” with supportive training resources provided by Wilton SEPTA (Special Education PTA) and others, coordinate and lead the on-field sessions (Sunday afternoons) bringing joy through movement and soccer to all participants. As the pandemic hopefully moves to the background, WSA is optimistic participation in this feel-good program will grow. The program is open to players of all ages.
Wilton Soccer’s competitive teams will all return to the fields this spring as well, excited to build upon successful Fall 2021 campaigns.
WSA is a volunteer-led organization whose mission is to promote positive growth in children and the community through high-quality soccer experiences that emphasize teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership. WSA is a strong believer in the value of multi-sport and activity participation, as exhibited by its collaborative efforts with its peer youth sports and other youth organizations in town.
Go to www.wiltonsoccer.com for more information. The spring season begins soon and Spring Soccer Registration is open online. Regular registration closes and late fees start Mar. 20. For more information visit the WSA website.
For more information about the amazing efforts of the Free Play Matters Task Force, visit the Wilton Youth Council website.