Athletes Sam and Jake with their parents, Coach Sam and Katie.

Our athletes with special needs gain so much when they participate as part of a team. Take Sam and Jake for example. These brothers, ages 9 and 6 years, play in Division 3, our youngest age division. On their first day with Spirit League, their mom Katie stood crying on the sidelines while watching them play soccer. When asked if she was alright, she responded saying that she couldn’t believe her sons were finally able to play on a team. She was overwhelmed.

Since that pivotal first day of soccer, the Barrios family has given back to other special needs athletes with dad Sam coaching all League sports of basketball, baseball and soccer. Quoting Coach Sam,

“Spirit League is more than just a sports organization. To our family it is one of the tools we use to help our kiddos attain key values that will help them later in life. The ability for them to learn and participate in sports is great, but more so, having them discover a sense of accomplishment, worth, and self-esteem reflects in their day-to-day behaviors and the overall Joy in their hearts. We truly appreciate having access to such a wonderful program.”

Our mission is to help special needs children and young adults excel through team sports. For our athletes, our goal is to foster self-esteem, enhance social skills and build friendships. For our families, our goal is to strengthen relationships, provide support and develop community. We are excited to the successful implementation of our mission and goals shown through Sam, Jake and their family.