BRITE Soccer Coming This Summer
The program from Vancouver Athletics and DDA staff is aiming for an inclusive and engaging experience.
The Building Rewarding Interactions Through Exercise (BRITE) program is launching this summer, bringing an accessible soccer program to Vancouver and children with disabilities.
This is BRITE’s inaugural summer, but program leader Alex Orasa has been thinking about doing a program like this for a while. With a long background in soccer and 4 years at the DDA, he is bringing his dual expertise in the sport and care for children with disabilities.
The kids will be coached by Orasa himself and Amelia Crawford, who also works at the DDA. Crawford has been a part of building this program alongside Orasa, and the two have hopes for growing the program in the future.
“Right now, I think I’d like to stick to what I know, and I have a large soccer background,” says Orasa. “But eventually, I think there’s a lot of opportunities to build it into something more with other sports, just get more people out there in the community. I know the benefits of sports personally, in building connections and friendships.”
BRITE is being run by the Vancouver Athletics F.C., who will be arranging field space and providing much of the equipment players will need.
“They’re just kind of bringing us into the club. And so I’m going to introduce the adapted program into the club and hopefully build it from there within,” says Orasa.
Orasa and Crawford’s vision for BRITE extends beyond just weekly practice, however.
“We’re looking to purchase some soccer balls for the kids as well, so they can continue their development and interest in the game at home,” says Orasa. “So it’s not just a once a week practice, it’s something that we’re going to be communicating with the families; giving drills and exercises they can do at home. So it’s really inclusive. And we want to stay in touch with the families and support any way we can.”
BRITE will be running every Wednesday evening from July 6th to August 10th, with sessions from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and 7:00pm to 8:00pm. Sessions will be at Hillcrest Turf Field in Vancouver. Registration costs $120, and is available to children ages 7 to 10 who are fully ambulatory and have been diagnosed with a developmental and/or intellectual disability.
To register, parents can contact Alex Orasa at firstname.lastname@example.org.