JT & Friends
To integrate the special needs community through a soccer clinic that celebrates their gifts and success while promoting physical, mental, and social development through soccer.
“JT & Friends” will globally inspire and foster the facilitation of soccer clinics for the special needs community. The event will provide and unforgettable experience for both participants and volunteers that promotes positive change. Recognize, Integrate, Support, and Encourage (RISE) the special needs community through soccer.
Meet JT, who has significant special needs. Several summers ago, JT and his mother, Kathi, had the opportunity to visit Louisville during a week of youth soccer camps. Due to his disabilities, JT was not able to fully participate in the camp activities, but this unique opportunity allowed JT to spend time with the players, as well as to enjoy the game of soccer. It quickly became apparent to Kathi that this connection between the soccer program and the special needs community needed to expand.
In July 2011, the University of Louisville men’s soccer program hosted its first soccer clinic to celebrate the gifts of special needs children and adults. Since then, “Kickin’ it with JT & Friends” has become an annual event that provides participants and their families an opportunity to enjoy soccer, to connect with the Louisville players and staff, and to be celebrated for their achievements.
What is perhaps even more amazing is the impact this experience has on the players, staff, and volunteers who participate. The clinic celebrates the gifts of participants with special needs while promoting physical, mental, and social development through soccer. It is a way to enmesh all of these types of development in a way that reaches participants and improves their well-being.
Help us bring this dream to life for participants with special needs:
Get Involved: The annual event is always looking for volunteers to help make it happen. Volunteer opportunities include registration, on-field assistance, and serving on ‘celebration stations!’ The goal is to pack the facility with volunteers to not only assist, but also cheer on participants every step of the way.
Contribute: If time constraints don’t allow for volunteer opportunities, please consider making a monetary donation. Every dollar helps to make this an unforgettable experience for both participants and volunteers.
Sign Up: Spread the word about registration, because capacity is limited. Registration is open to participants of any age or mental or physical ability.
2019 Camp Information
More details coming soon!