SALEM, Mass. (WHDH) — The North Shore Rovers Soccer club meets in Salem. It’s a youth program for athletes of all abilities – they’re all Class Acts!
Each weekend in the fall, high school and middle school volunteers and players show up for practice, games and scrimmages – all in the spirit of friendship.
“The kids get to know each other really well and it’s a social component of this program and it’s huge. More than the soccer,” said Gail Steele, the director of the Rovers.
The 112 volunteers come from 20 different schools and the 100 players are from 19 north shore cities and towns. The players and volunteers stay together throughout the season.
One volunteer says, “It’s good to see them having fun, you know, especially this buddy right here, he gets to play soccer all day. And he’s having a lot of fun becoming a good teammate, and he’s learning a lot – are you a good teammate? A good teammate.”
Rory says, “I like high-fives”
Annie Norton from Swampscott says, “She likes high fives. Big high five and then the double high five.”
Breaking down barriers that were sometimes invisible, the North Shore Rovers guide many out of their shells…
“He’s actually gotten into team sports at school where he participates with them now that he wouldn’t do before. So he’s really come quite a long way,” said Dave Tremblay, father of Jack, one of the athletes.
And volunteers gain from the experience, too.
Emma said, “I’ve been through a lot of different partners throughout the years, it’s just nice to see – they get so happy and stuff it’s just nice to see.”
Another volunteer said, “Danny’s really good at soccer and I love his happy dance. And he makes everyone happy.”
Bella Carbrerra said, “Kevin, you’re doing great aren’t you? You want to score a goal today?”
Kevin Lenox said, “Yes.”
The pep talks from the players make everyone feel like true champs.
“When we’re on that field, we don’t show that we don’t have those disabilities, we can show that we are just like the others, because we are Rovers and we are proud of it!” said one player. “We can still be a team, and if we work together, we will make the goals really bigger, and we will be the champions, go Rovers! Yeah!”
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