Bonivital launches all abilities soccer program

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BY SIMON FULLER

STAFF REPORTER

ST. VITAL

Photo by Simon Fuller

Bonivital Soccer Club’s clubhouse is pictured at Memorial park recently. The club has launched a new abilities soccer program to help provide children and youth aged between nine and 16 with intellectual and or/physical disabilities with an opportunity to learn about and play soccer.

Jason Moist believes there’s enough of the Beautiful Game to be shared among everyone.

Moist is the technical lead of a new program that’s being launched by Bonivital Soccer Club, that will start with a two-day pilot program to be held later this month.

One of the goals of the all abilities soccer program is to help provide children and youth aged between nine and 16 with intellectual and or/physical disabilities with an opportunity to learn about and play soccer.

Moist said the program is designed to fully inclusive and can be adapted for children and youth with any disability, and the program’s team is creating and fostering an inclusive environment where all youngsters will be the given the opportunity to shine. The program’s focus is on development and meaningful participation rather than on competition.

When brainstorming the idea, Moist — a longtime volunteer in the city’s soccer community who has coached at Bonivital for the last eight years — said he approached the southeast Winnipeg-based club about the program and was warmly received.

“It seemed like a natural fit, so I pitched it to the Bonivital board, which was very welcoming to the idea,” Moist said.

“Fast forward to the end of this summer, and we got the green light to go ahead, so I started reached out to people in the community and non-profit organizations in the community. “

“As we got the word out, word started to spread and the momentum has started to build from there as it’s grown organically. At the start, the question was, ‘would Winnipeg be interested?’ and it was heartwarming because the response was a resounding ‘yes,’” he added.

As well as the board members and staff at Bonivital, Moist — who lives in North Kildonan — is also grateful for the support of the Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy; Manitoba Possible; Manitoba Special Olympics; Manitoba School for the Deaf; Manitoba Soccer Association; Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association; and MLA for St. Vital Jamie Moses.

The two all abilities pilot program days will be held on Sat., Oct. 29 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and on Sun., Oct. 30 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the University of Winnipeg RecPlex (350 Spence St.). Both sessions are free.

According to the Bonivital website, participants can expect a fun and meaningful experience in a safe, healthy environment; and games and activities adapted to facilitate participation.

Parents will also have the chance to network with other families for support and information-sharing at the events.

At press time, there were a few spots left for both pilot program days.

Go online at www.bonivitalsoccer.com for more information.

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at simon.fuller@canstarnews.com or call him at 204-697-7111.

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