‘Passion for Soccer’: Local soccer players to hold free day camps for kids with special needs

Passion for Soccer members (l-r): Jared LeTourneau, Jordan Luo, Jessica Luo, and Dylan Gigler
Passion for Soccer members (l-r): Jared LeTourneau, Jordan Luo, Jessica Luo, and Dylan Gigler
(Steve Luo)

Four soccer players from Del Mar have been working to ignite a passion for soccer in kids with cognitive and/or physical disabilities.

Dylan Gigler, Jessica Luo, Jordan Luo, and Jared LeTourneau, rising seniors from The Bishop’s School, are all passionate soccer players. They became close over the years playing competitive soccer at Bishop’s and on other club teams. They have also been active volunteering at TOPSoccer tournaments and practices. TOPSoccer is a soccer program which brings soccer to kids with physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities.

During Covid, the friends worried about the kids they had worked with through TOPSoccer now that there was no in-person training or tournaments. They started recording training videos specifically geared towards kids with disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome. This is how Passion for Soccer got started. Dylan Gigler explains, “Besides the physical benefits, soccer is great for building self-confidence and social skills, which is especially important for kids with any kind of disability.”

Now there is a comprehensive website with training videos, research, and a curriculum. They will be holding in-person, free of charge day camps on July 9, 16, and 23 at Allen Field in La Jolla. All are welcome. Please register at www.pfsyouthprogram.org under the “Upcoming Camps” tab.

PFS is also rolling out a new feature, “United FIFA” games. They plan on bringing together special needs kids with other soccer players to play FIFA on Xbox and on other gaming platforms. Jessica Luo says, “We feel that it’s a great way to create friendships between kids who might never have met.”

Learn more at www.pfsyouthprogram.org — News release