AUSTIN, Texas — A special summer soccer camp is happening at the Circuit of the Americas, with the Austin Bold FC hosting their first-ever soccer camp for children with Down syndrome.
"I'm going to kick the ball," said Justin Hessin with excitement.
This is his first time on a professional soccer field. He is one of dozens of kids testing their abilities against the soccer players of the Austin Bold FC.
For midfielder Sonny Guadarrama, this camp is more than just sharing his passion for the sport.
"Any time we can share our talents, especially with children with special needs, it's definitely worth our time to be able to do that," Guadarrama said.
The Austin Bold FC partnered up with the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT) for a soccer camp to remember.
"I think it teaches us that we can all be included in activities together," said Asha Thomas, program coordinator with DSACT.
She said that, with an open mind, we can see an inclusive community and this is one example of that.
The soccer camp helps the students stay active in finding a hobby.
"The lifespan of people with Down syndrome used to be in the early 20s and now it's in the mid-60s," said Thomas. "We want to make sure our members are living long, healthy lives, and this is one step in doing that."
"I can see in their faces that they are having a blast, so that makes me happy, and hopefully they are falling in love with the game," Guadarrama said.
The group will be back at the stadium on Saturday to watch the Bold play on Down Syndrome Awareness Night.
If you are interested in buying tickets, visit the team's website.
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