Special Olympic soccer event held in Presque Isle

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PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - It was a perfect day for soccer. The annual Special Olympics soccer competition was held at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

(Ian Frank):"It's a fantastic day we have about 115 athletes here competing in individual skills and team competition. We got fantastic support from MMG and the University of Maine Presque Isle."

The skills competition has changed over the years and now includes Olympians competing in game situations. Some of the Athletes showing off their smooth moves and scoring a goal

Frank:" Trasitioning from individual skills and honing in on skills so our athletes can compete at a team level. They play five aside and seven aside soccer and the transition continued to blossom more and more. This allowed more and more athletes to get into team play and that was our goal."

MMG Insurance has been in charge of this event for several years. Spencer King of MMG is the event director and says that volunteers for the event are easy to come by

(Spencer King):"MMG is willing to lend a helping hand we had 13 volunteers come today. They took the day off from work. We are at a very busy moment and time at MMG so it was good to see they were able to give those numbers away and have those people help."

UMPI men's soccer coach Alan Gordon has been involved in this program for years and says this year not only members of the men's and women's soccer teams are involved, but also several students

(Alan Gordon):" This year is unique. We have had the men's and women's soccer teams pretty active over the years. This year we also added some of our academic classes to come up and help. For many of them this is their first experience and as you can see they are enjoying themselves."

Gordon says that the event brings some real world experience to several of the students

Gordon:" Students who are here helping out as coaches today are going into this profession and coaching and teaching physical education and doing athletic training. This is real life experiences and opportunities that they are going to see when get out there and are working in the real world."