Blount County dad starts soccer league for kids with special n

Blount County dad starts soccer league for kids with special needs

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They plan to start the V.I.P. league on August 19 and already have 15 children interested. They are allowing any child four-years-old and up to participate. They plan to start the V.I.P. league on August 19 and already have 15 children interested. They are allowing any child four-years-old and up to participate.
Roddey Coe's seven-year-old son Ethan, who has autism, enjoyed playing soccer last year. Roddey Coe's seven-year-old son Ethan, who has autism, enjoyed playing soccer last year.
"V.I.P. is a soccer program for kids with special needs," explained Roddy Coe, "Whether they are blind, deaf, autistic, downs, physically handicap. We do our best to find a way they can play soccer." "V.I.P. is a soccer program for kids with special needs," explained Roddy Coe, "Whether they are blind, deaf, autistic, downs, physically handicap. We do our best to find a way they can play soccer."
"It was like answer to prayer," said AYSO regional commissioner David Kemp. "It was like answer to prayer," said AYSO regional commissioner David Kemp.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Roddey Coe's seven-year-old son Ethan, who has autism, enjoyed playing soccer last year. Coe felt children like his son deserved a league of their own, so he has now formed the V.I.P. league.

"V.I.P. is a soccer program for kids with special needs," explained Coe, "Whether they are blind, deaf, autistic, downs, physically handicap. We do our best to find a way they can play soccer."

Coe was able to get his V.I.P., or Very Important Player league, included with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) league in Blount County.

"It was like answer to prayer," said AYSO regional commissioner David Kemp. "I'm telling you because I had stand up at a meeting of commissioners in California, after a very heartfelt presentation by one of the commissioners there, and vowed we would begin a V.I.P. program."

Coe says they hope to participate with other V.I.P. soccer leagues that have already been established in East Tennessee. Some of those include Knoxville and Oak Ridge.

They plan to start the V.I.P. league on August 19 and already have 15 children interested. They are allowing any child four-years-old and up to participate.

"I will take as many as can come," said Coe. "I will get volunteers to make it happen."

Volunteers are one thing Coe needs for this season. He says you do not need to know how to play soccer to help.

"Anyone who likes to work with kids," explained Coe. "You don't have to have soccer skills."

Coe says many times children with special needs are isolated and the V.I.P. league will help them get out, socialize, and have a great time.

If your child is interested in joining the V.I.P. league, they can register Saturday, July 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Foothills Mall in Maryville.

There will also be a registration August 3 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Foothills Mall and on August 10 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Dicks Sporting Goods in Alcoa.

There is a $50 registration fee, but they will work with V.I.P. league participants if they have a tough financial situation.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call Roddey Coe at (865) 268-3971 or you can e-mail him at roddey.coe@comcast.com.

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