Students team up for special soccer game

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The teams come from different High Schools, but each is made up of players from Special Education Programs, and the general student body. (KGO-TV)

There was all the pomp and pageantry of an Olympic soccer match at San Francisco's Washington High School Tuesday. But this soccer tournament had more than one kind of Goal in mind.

"Just to create as inclusive environment as possible and to treat these students just like anyone else on the school's campus," says Sasha Trope of the Northern California Special Olympics.

The teams come from different High Schools, but each is made up of players from both their school's Special Education Program, and the general student body. The idea is to team up, to break down stereotypes. Roy Palmer graduated from the program and helps kids who may have a hard time fitting in.

"I tell kids keep your head in the game and don't let nobody get to you like that," says Palmer.

The program is a partnership between Special Olympics of Northern California, and the city School District. Many of the kids have struggled to overcome a wide array of disabilities. And on a day like this, they can celebrate their drive and spirit alongside their classmates.

"And I love soccer so much, and I really want to play with them," says goalkeeper Vanessa Lou.

Her fellow player Andrew Ng, feels the same.

"There are lots of friends that play sports too and I can do lots of things too," he says.

And for their classmates in the stands, the game was ultimately a chance to learn more about fellow students, who bring diversity and determination into their campus every day.
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sportsspecial olympicsspecial needs childrensoccerSan Francisco
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