Pueblo soccer club gives kids with learning disabilities the opportunity to play

PUEBLO, Colo. — About 40 kids with special needs hit the soccer field Saturday morning in Pueblo for a little fun and a whole lot more.

The children are part of the first outreach program that uses soccer as a way to build teamwork and expand the children’s social abilities.

They’re all part of the Pueblo Rangers Soccer Club. Club organizers said they saw a void for kids with learning disabilities who wanted to play sports.

“It’s all about having fun, being safe, and just learning to enjoy soccer,” recreational director Stuart Szemaraj said. “We’re delighted to put it on. It’s something we wish we would have done a long time ago, but we finally got it up and running.”

The kids range in age from 5 to 9 years old. After some practice drills, they got to play in a game, giving them the chance to experience the thrill of competing.

“There’s not too much out there for them as a participant, and I’m hoping that this program will fill a spot for them and gives them some good positive social skills and they grow and learn to love the game of soccer,” Szemaraj said.

The program will have four 10-player teams. They’ll compete Saturdays at Langoni Field.

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