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Young Sports Enthusiasts Flock to Norman Youth Soccer Association

By Elisha Neubauer

While attempting to find an afterschool activity for their sons, Gordon Drummond and Gordon Shalhope came to the conclusion that soccer would make the fitting choice. However, they weren't finding what they were searching for so they decided to take measures into their own hands. That was the start of the Norman Youth Soccer Association.

The program got its start back in 1976. Beginning with amazing numbers, the program launched in September with 220 players registering to play. While these were impressive numbers, far greater than anyone could have predicted for a first go and the program only grew on from there.

Today, the Norman Youth Soccer Association is an integral part of Norman life, servicing over 3,000 players and families each and every season, in both the fall and spring sessions.

Don Rother, Director of Coaching for the Norman Youth Soccer Association, claims that playing soccer has many benefits for youths of every walk of life. He points out that players get great exercise playing while also having the benefit of learning teamwork, hard work, working through adversity, and competition.

"We hope that playing soccer at NYSA is more than just playing a sport," Rother states. "We want the members to feel they are part of community." To do so, the program offers many club wide events which allow families to enjoy themselves and making them proud to be part of such a program.

In addition to their club wide activities and family-focused feel, the Norman Youth Soccer Association sponsors the Cleats for Kids program. This unique program allows players to donate their old equipment for those players who are unable to afford equipment of their own.

Thanks to this program, many of those who would not have been able to play due to financial situations are able to play, opening the sport to a wider range of individuals. "We feel strongly at NYSA about making sure we make soccer available to all children and Cleats for Kids is a great program that helps us in reaching this goal," explains Rother.

The program currently hosts several annual fundraisers, such as the NYSA Golf Classic and the Electric Pride 5K, which is currently in its third year of operation. The Classic helps raise money for financially disadvantaged children looking to learn, play, and succeed within the sport. The event is sponsored by many local businesses and helps offer scholarships to youths in the Norman area.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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