Orange County soccer club excited to compete at Special Olympics

When you look out on the field at the Eagles Soccer team, as a unit, they look like any other group of athletes going after a big win. It’s the realization of a 19-year goal for Silvia Haas. “The concept is to get like-minded abilities onto a playing field and watch friendships form, watch life lessons from, and just watch sports being played out. And it’s just an amazing experience, “Haas said. Haas grew up playing sports but felt a spark when she became a PE teacher at a school for students with special needs. A dream soon formed to create teams in which partner-athletes help accelerate the growth and performance of athletes with disabilities. “We create an environment that you can make a mistake, and that’s okay. Right. You’re here with your friends. We ” re here to support you, “Haas said. Those partners, once strangers, are now more than just teammates, they’re unified Special Olympians. Cesar Aponte started playing soccer at 13 years old. He loves the action, the friendships, but more importantly, “My favorite part is scoring goals,” he said. “Oh, it’s, it’s crazy to see how far they’ve come,” Keven Reynolds said.Reynolds and four UCF club soccer players have volunteered as partners on the field alongside seven Eagle athletes. “Some of them are miles ahead of where they were when we first came here, and we started. And it was really, really cool to see, “Reynolds said.The hard work is paying off. The Eagles will compete in this year’s US Special Olympic Games, their fourth selection to the USA games since 2010. And they’re eager to bring home the gold. “Because we have so many new athletes and partners having the opportunity to participate in the USA games, it’s becoming more meaningful. And really, the beauty is watching our athletes grow,” Haas said.A team built on words of encouragement, turning desires into reality for athletes with disabilities. “Ultimately for me is the attempt at the oath. We sit there and say, ‘let me win. But if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ And if these guys give me 150%, that’s all I want. I want them to be happy, I want them to have joy, “she said.

When you look out on the field at the Eagles Soccer team, as a unit, they look like any other group of athletes going after a big win.

It’s the realization of a 19-year goal for Silvia Haas.

“The concept is to get like-minded abilities onto a playing field and watch friendships form, watch life lessons from, and just watch sports being played out. And it’s just an amazing experience,” Haas said.

Haas grew up playing sports but felt a spark when she became a PE teacher at a school for students with special needs. A dream soon formed to create teams in which partner-athletes help accelerate the growth and performance of athletes with disabilities.

“We create an environment that you can make a mistake, and that’s okay. Right. You’re here with your friends. We’re here to support you,” Haas said.

Those partners, once strangers, are now more than just teammates, they’re unified Special Olympians.

Cesar Aponte started playing soccer at 13 years old.

He loves the action, the friendships, but more importantly, “My favorite part is scoring goals,” he said.

“Oh, it’s, it’s crazy to see how far they’ve come,” Keven Reynolds said.

Reynolds and four UCF club soccer players have volunteered as partners on the field alongside seven Eagle athletes.

“Some of them are miles ahead of where they were when we first came here, and we started. And it was really, really cool to see,” Reynolds said.

The hard work is paying off. The Eagles will compete in this year’s US Special Olympic Games, their fourth selection to the USA games since 2010. And they’re eager to bring home the gold.

“Because we have so many new athletes and partners having the opportunity to participate in the USA games, it’s becoming more meaningful. And really, the beauty is watching our athletes grow,” Haas said.

A team built on words of encouragement, turning desires into reality for athletes with disabilities.

“Ultimately for me is the attempt at the oath. We sit there and say, ‘let me win. But if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ And if these guys give me 150%, that’s all I want. I want them to be happy, I want them to have joy, “she said.

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