My name is Joseph Painter, and I have volunteered with TopSoccer for the past 11 years. More recently, over the past 3 years, I have volunteered with Special Olympics and worked both during the year and during the summer at Camp Spearhead, a camp for children and adults with disabilities. Throughout my involvement in these organizations, I have noticed that Area 4 (Greenville’s Special Olympics Area) has been in need of a Special Olympics soccer team.
I’m very interested in getting a soccer team started for anyone interested. At this point, we’re focusing on testing the waters to see who and how many athletes would be interested in participating. A large portion of the team’s direction depends on the number of athletes interested in participating as well as on the level of competition from the athletes. If there is enough interest, we will determine the type of competitions that would be most suitable for our athletes. There are varying levels of competition: individual skills (dribbling, passing, etc. that our athletes frequently take part in during TopSoccer), small sided games (5 v 5 or 7 v 7), and unified partner games (similar to the small sided games but typical athletes compete alongside Special Olympics athletes).
If there is enough interest, the team would meet weekly (Thursday is looking like the best day) for about an hour or hour and a half at the Pavilion sports complex. The athletes would compete in either individual skill competitions or in team-based games (once again, this depends on the interest level) at the Fall Games in Greenville. If you have any interest at all in possibly participating, please email me, Joseph Painter, at and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have as well as to keep you updated on the progress of the team’s formation. I look forward to hearing back from you!