All Abilities athletes pose during a workout class.
All Abilities co-founders Whitni Allen and Chase Livingston.
TOPSoccer Texarkana participants are paired with a buddy for the season. The buddies assist them during soccer practices and games, and the coach/coaches lead the practice and a scrimmage. Sessions consist of 30 minutes of practicing soccer skills and 30 minutes of a soccer game. US Soccer granted permission to bring this program to Texarkana. With the help of local high schools, Cloud has had exceptional volunteers and facilities at her fingertips. “I think one of the ways this program is unique is the bond that these volunteers and athletes form,” Cloud explained. “The athletes show up eager to see their buddy. Being able to have a consistent person for the athlete is something special for both the athlete and the buddy.” TOPSoccer Texarkana has its eyes set on the future. With two sessions in February and four in June, the TOPSoccer athletes will have the opportunity to finish their season at a National Symposium in Kansas City.
“I hope our current athletes continue in the program,” Cloud remarked. “We currently have 17 kids registered, and I hope we attract more athletes. We’ve had an incredible group of volunteers, and I want to continue growing that group and being able to have consistency with our buddies for our athletes. We aim to continue offering this program for free to our athletes and their families.” All Abilities is focused on finding their “home” as they have numerous programs and classes that they want to bring to the Texarkana community. All Abilities meets at the Southwest Center every Thursday from 4-5 pm. “All Abilities has the ability to bring inclusive fitness and programs to our community and to offer jobs to individuals with special needs,” Allen stated. “Upon finding our new business home, we hope to offer jobs including personal trainer, group fitness instructors, front desk work, and more.”
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