TOPSoccer announces plans to increase opportunities for the special needs community in Cal South with a new program opening in Ventura in 2023.
Ventura, California (February 2nd, 2023) – TOPSoccer and Cal South are thrilled to announce plans to launch a brand new TOPSoccer Program in Ventura this summer. The exciting news comes on the eve of the Cal South TOPSoccer State Cup (February 4th), which is one of the biggest events on the TOPSoccer calendar each year. Anyone whose been involved in TOPSoccer will understand the gravity of this new program for the children and families in Ventura and the surrounding areas.
The Outreach Program for Soccer (TOPSoccer) is a community-based recreational soccer program that fosters an inclusive environment where neurodiverse youth and young people with physical disabilities can fully participate in soccer. Cal South has been involved with TOPSoccer since 1991. It’s hard not to marvel at how these programs bring soccer players together and provide further encouragement to those who refuse to let their challenges stop them from playing the sport they love.
Sandy Castillo, TOPSoccer Chair at Cal South, has devoted over three decades to TOPSoccer and is largely responsible for its growth in California and beyond. Speaking about the Ventura program, Sandy emphasized that the impact this initiative will have goes further than just the players:
“This new program will provide opportunities to a wider community, giving more players with disabilities access to the beautiful game. Every person who volunteers and interacts with our players will be impacted by what our players can teach us. I’m so excited to assist with the launch of a new TOPSoccer program in Ventura.”
As a long-time devotee to TOPSoccer, Sandy maintains that these programs are for everyone. The players enrich the lives of those around them, including volunteers, buddies, family, friends, and teammates. While TOPSoccer continues to make strides every year, it’s important to note that the special needs community is underserved in southern California.
TOPSoccer Ventura founder, Roberto Gutierrez, recognized a need for special needs soccer programming in his locality. Inspired by his family, Roberto set about creating change that will truly benefit his community. Working alongside Sandy Castillo and Cal South, Roberto is chomping at the bit to get TOPSoccer Ventura off the ground:
“My main motivation behind setting up the program is my 11-year-old daughter, Kaylani. I want to provide opportunities for her and others like her, who are on the spectrum. My current goal is to create a successful and fully funded program that will cater to as many special needs children as possible. With the help and guidance of Cal South, I’m confident it will be a success.”
Roberto is working hard behind the scenes and hopes to have an official launch date within the coming weeks. Once the program is underway, training and games will be held at Ventura City and Oxnard venues.
Cal South Soccer Foundation Executive Director, Jordan Schweitzer, has been working with both Roberto and Sandy ahead of the Ventura launch. Jordan and the foundation are constantly looking for ways to build and empower the Cal South community through soccer. Jordan senses that TOPSoccer Ventura marks another step in the right direction for underserved community members.
“We are incredibly proud to work with Sandy and Community Leaders like Roberto to increase access to Soccer for players and families in Southern California. Cal South’s TOPSoccer Program, with support from Cal South Leadership and Sandy’s passionate commitment to her players and community, is inspiring and impactful. I look forward to the season starting in Ventura.”
TOPSoccer is a tight-knit community where you can always put a face to a name. Each program relies heavily on help provided by “buddies.” Anyone can be a TOPSoccer Buddy: parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, or friends. No soccer experience is necessary.
Volunteers can also become coaches through a straightforward, standardized process. Moreover, TOPSoccer provides a US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Coaching Certification Course at no cost.
If you want to take things a step further and set up your own TOPSoccer Program, TOPSoccer and Cal South are here to guide and support you through every step. For questions or queries about how to get involved, contact Sandy directly: Sandy Castillo, TOPSoccer Chair: 657-378-8606, firstname.lastname@example.org
To get a taste of what TOPSoccer is all about, join us at the Cal South TOPSoccer State Cup on Saturday, February 4th, at Wagner Elementary in Placentia from 10 am.
Keep up to date on all TOPSoccer events, including the launch of the Ventura program, by subscribing to the Cal South Newsletter, following us on socials, or contacting us directly.