DAVIS COUNTY

Program connects special needs kids and student-athletes through soccer

Jan 12, 2023, 8:00 AM | Updated: Jan 13, 2023, 6:38 pm
headwear...
The program is part of an initiative sponsored by Utah's First Lady Abby Cox. {Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah —  A program, started as part of an initiative by Utah’s First Lady Abby Cox, connects student-athletes and students with special needs for an opportunity to play sports together.

Eight high schools in Davis County are participating by sending teams to participate in Unified Sports tournaments. 

Reese Robinson, a senior and a peer leader for Unified Sports at Layton High said a few of the special needs students already knew the fundamentals of soccer while others did not. However, Robinson said it’s rewarding either way.

“A couple of the students kind of knew the idea of it, and they were familiar with it but most of the students didn’t know how to play.  But it was super fun coaching them and showing them how to play,” she said.  “Just the excitement they got when they scored, and goofed on some moves, it was fun to see.”

According to Robinson, each of the eight participating schools has about 20 students in the program. The games are played at the Rack in North Salt Lake and a field in Farmington.  Regular practices take place at individual school gyms.

Robinson said as a mentor and coach, she’s gaining valuable teaching skills and helping students develop athletic skills.

“It made me realize how much I’d love to be a coach and how awesome it is to know how to play soccer and being able to use my skills to help others … to make it understandable to the kids,” she said. 

Robinson said she is surprised all the time at how some of the special needs kids take so quickly to soccer, even those who have never played the game.  One student, in particular, stands out.

“His name is Max and he was so good at being goalkeeper.  He loved it and stopped every ball kicked, kicked every ball out. It was so much fun seeing how happy he was when he blocked a ball, ” gushed Robinson.

The teams are made up of student-athletes and students with special needs while allowing everyone to play sports together, build a community and practice sportsmanship.

Related:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Davis County

mental health...
Elizabeth Weiler

Davis County offering free mental health screening event for teens

The free event will allow Parents and their teens in 7th through 12th grade to check in with a mental health professional in person.
10 days ago
Utah budget...
Heather Kelly

Utah Legislature hopes to address school choice this session

Critics say "school choice" is a slight against public schools because it would take money from the general fund.
11 days ago
utah school enrollment...
Allessandra Harris

Davis School District has support team for military-connected children

Davis School District has a Military Support Team that provides help for students with connections to the military.
16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Program connects special needs kids and student-athletes through soccer