Posts Tagged ‘special needs soccer NYC’

VIP Soccer Starts This Weekend In Central Park!

September 14, 2012 Leave a comment

From Coach Jim – see the link at the bottom for an overview of the VIP soccer program including a map of the playing field.

Dear Parents and Volunteers-
Attached please find a two-page overview of the VIP program (see link below for attachment), including links to resources to learn more.  Also included: a map of our field in Central Park.  We meet in the North Meadow on Sunday on Soccer Field B, which is right next to the handball courts at the North Meadow Recreation Center.
If walking in from the West side, you can come in at 97th street and walk along the pathways that stay closest to the 97th street Transverse Road.  You have to head North to get to the field.  You can wait until you get to the Recreation Center, in which case you have to go through the parking lot, through the breezeway, cut through the handball courts and then backtrack about fifty feet to your left.  Or, you can head North before you get to the Rec Center, go up to the first gap in the fence around the baseball and soccer fields, and then head off to your right.
Generally, if your player is nine or under, plan to come at 10 AM.  Everyone else, 11:30.  Team rosters are coming later in the week.  We have had a number of late additions, and unfortunately two of our experienced coaches have to take a leave-of-absense this year, to deal with a new baby and an apartment renovation.  Consequently I will be promoting a couple of assistant coaches, and also am looking for new people to fill in those assistant positions.
More to come!
Yours, Jim
Head Coach, VIP

Special Needs Soccer Fall 2012 – Registration open now until June 15th!

Passing along information from Head Coach, Jim Karpe:


Dear Challenger, Champion and VIP families-
West Side Soccer League registration for the Fall is now open. We play in Central Park, on the West side just above 96th Street, on Sundays in the late morning and early afternoon.
In soccer we are the VIP division.  Cost is $120 per child.  Full scholarships available, covering all costs except a $10 fee.
The league supplies uniform, shin guards, balls.  Pretty much everything except the shoes and the kid.
I strongly recommend trying soccer.  Each of the sports has its charms, of course.  Basketball is fast moving, and has never once been rained out. And my son loves to play.  Baseball is a cultural touch point, and we have a beautiful spot near the river. And my daughter loves the game.
In my eyes, one of the great things about soccer is that all you need is one child and a ball, and you are playing.  It scales up from that all the way up to a full-size game on a full-size field.  But the essence of the game– controlling the movement of the ball through space with your feet– that happens right from the start.  And for our population it is especially good as there is very little in the way of waiting around.  We play “short-sided” games, to make sure every child is getting a lot of chances to touch the ball and make game-time decisions.  Please sign up and tell a friend.  We had 60 players last season, but can accomodate many more — we can take possession of the fields as early on Sundays as we need to.
VIP Soccer Head Coach

WSSL VIP Division Seeking High School Volunteers

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment
Passing along an important message from Jim Karpe:
We are reaching out to seek high school students interested in the rewards and challenge of helping out in the Special Needs children of the VIP division.  We have about six dozen children of varying abilities and disabilities.  A lot of children on the autism spectrum or with attention deficit–or both.  Also a fair number with low ability, but with a lot of enthusiasm.  Coaching in VIP is a bit different from the rest of the West Side Soccer League.  On the postive side, our parents and kids will be infinitely grateful, and will help in any way they can.  The pressures are low– no crazy parents on the side lines demanding that you put their son in as center forward.  Instead, parents that are grateful to see their child engaging in anything that resembles a team sport.

And the challenges are intense.  It requires imagination and presence of mind to engage these children, and a great deal of patience to re-engage them when they get distracted by a butterfly, or the feel of grass on their hand, or just their own random thoughts.  

In my estimate, the rewards far out-pace the negatives.  A child who was barely aware of the ball at the start of the season, will at the end of the season will watch them take the ball down to the goal and score.  Their joy, and their parent’s joy, will be palpable.  Oscar Mack and Jim Karpe and the other coach-parents will be there to assist the high school buddies each Sunday.

We meet at the “A1&A2” fields on Sunday at 10 AM for the younger players (under 9) and at 11:30 for the older players.  Please let us know if you are interested in participating in our division.  Email or call 516 655 2713.  

Or if they want, the students can just come out on Sunday the 18th at 10AM to see what we all look like.  Just be forewarned that on that first Sunday we are having everyone come down at the same time, and there will be barely contained chaos as we organize into teams, hand out uniforms, and organize some scrimmage games.

WSSL VIP (Special Needs) Division Starts September 18: Info and FAQs

September 13, 2011 2 comments

Another reason to love Fall is soccer in Central Park! West Side Soccer League VIP Division starts this weekend and I for one am looking forward to spending beautiful Sunday afternoons in Central Park while my kids burn off some energy (plenty of space nearby fields for siblings to run around). It’s not too late to join – the VIP Division is really good about trying to fit everyone onto an appropriate team (see #3 below). Below are some FAQs about the first week including location and schedule info. Hope to see you there!

WSSL VIP Division – Week 1 Q&A

Welcome!!!  Soccer starts this Sunday!  I hope everyone is as excited as I am.  

1.  Location

We play in the North Meadow/Central Park  to the B fields (Ultimate Frisbee)
Fields B1 and B2.  We are closers to the west side than East.

2.  Time

Week 1 – all players need to arrive at 10:00

After week, Rising Stars  at 10:00
                 Juniors/Seniors  play at 11:30

We will separate Rising Stars and Juniors/Seniors by age and ability.  Generally speaking the split will be kids born before/after 2002.

3.  Kids who want to play will play

We will continue to engage any family that wants to play.  
If a family is assigned to the wrong division, we can get that squared away Week 1. 
 I already sent a note to people who were in VIP, to help identify families that
 were in our division by mistake.  There were six. 

4.  Uniform Issues

We ALWAYS have uniform issues the first day.  There are never enough in the correct sizes, so most
of the first day is spent getting information for re-order.  A uniform is:

– Jersey
– Shorts
– Socks
– Shinguards

Spiked shoes are not allowed on the North Meadow.


Mark your calendars! Special Needs Soccer Registration for WSSL Fall season begins April 25

James has participated in WSSL soccer for two seasons so far. We plan to register again this Fall because it has been such a great experience. They meet on Sundays during the Fall in Central Park and our whole family enjoys the outdoor time together. My husband usually volunteers to coach one of the groups. I think it’s a nice way for him to connect in a “typical” way with his stepson – sometimes it feels like there are so few of those opportunities.

If you want your child to play soccer in the Fall, it is best to register early.  Registration will open online at on Monday, April 25th.  Once caps are hit, a wait list will begin. Make sure to register for the VIP division if you want your child to play on a special needs team similar to the basketball league and baseball teams in Winter and Spring.

Feel free to email me or leave comments below for more information!

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