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Watson Institute, Riverhounds Team Up For Special Kick Clinic™ For Special Needs Kids

PITTSBURGH, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In order to create a place where the playing field is leveled for children with special needs, The Watson Institute will offer the inaugural Special Kick Clinic™ hosted by The Pittsburgh Riverhounds Professional Soccer Club at the new Highmark Stadium, located in Station Square, on Sunday, April 21, 2013 from 1-3 p.m.

"The Special Kick Clinic will be an inspiring, joyous, game-like experience for everyone participating to the best of their ability and where everyone gets to score a goal," said Justin Evans, The Riverhounds' Head Coach. "This experience is designed to be truly inclusive where accommodations are made so that everyone can participate."  

The fun soccer clinic day, consisting of designated areas of modified soccer drills, will be led by Pittsburgh Riverhounds coaches and players along with players from The Riverhounds Academy youth development program. Participants will rotate through the drills in groups.

"Special needs children participating in the Special Kick Soccer event may find it provides an impetus to continue to participate in more inclusive sports and activities," added Ray White, CEO of The Watson Institute.  

As part of the afternoon event, members of the Riverhounds on hand to assist and share time with the children will play a brief exhibition game. AMO, the Riverhounds Mascot, will also make an appearance, along with other entertainment for the children to enjoy.

Parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to visit Watson's Ask the Experts Cafe during the clinic where they can enjoy seeing the children on the field, while talking with The Watson Institute professional consultants who will offer professional advice and share insights to parents of children with special needs.  Discussion topics include:

  1. Promoting positive behaviors at home (bedtimes, mealtimes, getting along with siblings), at school and in the community.
  2. Using an iPad as a communication device, and demonstrations on helpful apps.
  3. Specific concerns a parent may have.

The Watson Institute and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds have long-term plans to continue the Special Kick Clinic annually.  In addition, both organizations are eager to share this great story with other professional soccer teams across the US in hopes they will be able to adopt this clinic model and offer it in their home cities.   

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