As usual, the team at My Possibilities is bringing the best of the best opportunities to North Texans with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). New on the My Possibilities agenda is the creation of the North Texas United Soccer League (NTUSL) which brings friendly competition between HIPsters (Hugely Important People) and community members.
To learn about the goals for this new collaboration, Plano Magazine visited with My Possibilities’ Adrienne Mageors, director of development and Jamie Zozaya, campus life manager.
Adrienne: We “kicked off” our first season in May. The impetus was to create a unified league where anyone can play, regardless of abilities. In partnership with Special Olympics Texas and the FC Dallas Foundation, which donated the field to us, we wanted to ensure there were no barriers for participation. Registration is currently free for anyone who’s game, and for our first season this summer, we had 120 athletes. We have a strong connection with many community members who’ve joined us and ended up with many incredible soccer players. It’s amazing to see unified sports in our area come to life.
We had eight teams and eight sponsors. In addition to My Possibilities, Special Olympics Texas and FC Dallas, sponsors include The Sandlot Children’s Charity, Gallagher, Texas Health Plano, and Kehr Technologies. We even had the Dallas Sidekicks there to referee every game. Players wear legit soccer jerseys, made by Icarus.
Jamie: Season two is just now underway, and finals are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, for games, awards, photos, snacks and hanging out. Registration remains open for this season for players or even walk-ups. Anyone can just watch for the day or play the whole season. Games are Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings to accommodate HIPsters’ and Special Olympics Texas’ schedules. At this summer’s playoff games, it was a very hot Saturday, so hot in fact we decided to call the games early, but our players weren’t having it. Everyone wanted to keep playing, hot or not. HIPsters are very competitive!
Adrienne: We welcome volunteers and are always looking for more sponsors in a variety of areas. It takes a lot to maintain the field, between watering and striping. We are looking for corporate and individual partners in 2024 to help us endow the maintenance of this amazing field. This steamy summer found Boy Scout Troop 221 handing out snow cones, and Ruthie’s food truck is committed joining us again this fall, so food is also available during games. Whatever anyone’s strong suit is, we’re ready to receive it!
Jamie: Our league was created to be fun, and we’re always open for volunteer opportunities like passing out water, collecting soccer balls from goalies, refereeing, or score-keeping. We make a place for everybody. We originally required players to be 18 years old to play, but after seeing how many younger kids were interested last season, we’ve now opened it up to 14 and up. My nine-year-old daughter plays, and our Executive Director’s twin boys also love to sub. Keeping everyone safe, our league really is about no barriers! Being inclusive starts with MP and its staff first!
Adrienne: We are excited about this safe environment for learning new skills, where lots of My Possibilities pride shines through. That’s the bonus, participants gain skills, confidence, and sportsmanship.
DID YOU KNOW?250,000 people in North Texas have an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability (IDD).
8% of adults with IDD are employed in the community.
52% of adults with cognitive disabilities leave high school without a diploma.
62% of parents of adults with disabilities don’t have a plan for the future.
Everything we do stems from a belief that we need to constantly improve to reach the highest possibility. We strive to improve ourselves so we can see an immediate change in our community and across the country.
Find out how you can help today. Visit Mypossibilities.org or call 469-241-9100 for more on HIPster happenings, and NTUSL.org for the current season’s schedule and to watch videos from last season. If you would like to make a financial gift to secure the legacy of this field, please reach out to Evan Jones at Ejones@mptx.org.
The above post is sponsored content. The above post is sponsored content.