TOPSoccer program benefits special needs children

SUSSEX -- TOPSoccer is an outreach program of Wisconsin Youth Soccer for kids with disabilities. After taking in a practice, FOX6's Tom Pipines learned these youngsters have abilities that touch everyone fortunate enough to come into their paths.

The Sussex chapter of the TOPSoccer program practiced for the final time this season, before an awards ceremony.

"It's a program designed to help children with special needs, everything from children bound to wheelchairs to Down Syndrome to attention deficit disorder," TOPSoccer parent/coach Rob Heyrman said.

Heyrman has dedicated his life to serving kids as a teacher and a coach. Heyrman's son has benefitted from TOPSoccer. "It's very, very rewarding. He comes and bonds with the kids and coaches. He looks forward to it every Saturday. In fact, Monday and Tuesday he is talking about it, so it benefits the coaches and volunteers as well as the players," Heyrman said.

Another positive part of the program is that it helps the special boys and girls feel good about themselves. It was hard to tell who had a better time, the players or the parents. "It was amazing. You can obviously see what this program has done for him," parent Ann Miller said.

The volunteers say they get a kick out of working with the kids. 18-year-old Hartland Arrowhead High School student Andrew Hall has had fun and learned perspective at the same time. "It's nice giving back to people in the community and those less fortunate. It makes me feel good. I'm a pretty healthy guy, so it's nice to help them out," Hall said.

For teacher, coach and parent Heyrman, every ounce of his time commitment has been worthwhile. TOPSoccer has opened up a whole world of people and networking, and he says he'll never forget what Ben said after last year's award's ceremony. "He had a look on his face, he was saying 'I may not be the best player out there, but I showed up every Saturday and went through the drills and the scrimmage,' so I am very, very proud," Heyrman said.

For additional information about the TOPSoccer program, contact John Janasik by email at john.janasik@gmail.comor CLICK HERE.