Adaptive Soccer for All Players gives those with disabilities a chance to play

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The sport of soccer is enjoyed by all walks of life around the world.
Whether it's the U.S. celebrating the national team for their back-to-back World Cup victories or Iceland making it to the big stage, the sport is beloved.​
However, in years past there wasn't really a program available for those who have disabilities to participate in soccer.​
That's where ASAP soccer steps in, which stands for Adaptive Soccer for All Players.​
It's played here in the Golden Heart City, and I had to go check it out.

The sounds of laughter, excitement and happiness rung through the air on FYSA Field 23 as kids got to play a sport they love, soccer.​
Fairbanks Youth Soccer Association program coordinator and head coach for ASAP, Tamara Shirley spoke about the what the program brings.​

"So, its an adaptive soccer program for youth who experience a disability. So we do include youth up to 25. We actually have Christina out here whos been doing this for years. But its an adaptive program for youth who experience a disability to kinda get out here, have some fun. We also try to incorporate a lot of life things so that they have good practices throughout their whole life, " said Shirley.​

The kids were enjoying themselves, running up and down the field, and playing the game they love.​
Shirley talked about what it means to be apart of their lives.​

"It's extremely fulfilling. It's so fun coming out and coaching these kids, even just being here. I started out as a 'Buddy' and then I started to fill in as a coach and both its been great just being there seeing their progress and being able to include new activities because they've been here and they know what they're doing. So it's just great being a part of their lives and helping them,"​ said Shirley.

Lastly we touched base on what the future holds for ASAP soccer, not just in Alaska, but in the Lower 48.​

"Well we're looking forward to expanding of course here in Fairbanks even with out parent organizations brought that to the AGM and they're looking to bring that into their fold and to their soccer programs that are under them. So different states might start having ASAP soccer as well so we're excited to see that expansion as well. It's great to see and bring this program to a community that really needs just more,"​ said Shirley.

You can find more info on ASAP soccer on the FYSA website.​