Parkland Gets Positive Publicity


Parkland is getting some  kudos from a national media outlet.

Sport Illustrated cover 

The city’s special needs youth sports program called The Buddies is Sports Illustrated Kids Youth Football Team of The Year.  That put Parkland’s team on the cover of the magazine.

The Buddies program started in 2008.

Shannon Ferguson, whose husband was part of Parkland Flag Football, convinced the group  to add a special needs section.  This year 23 kids with special needs were paired with 35 volunteers. 

The volunteers, who meet every Saturday from September to November, are the heart of the program. Thanks to the volunteers, special needs kids get the joy of playing sports.

The children are divided into two teams, with each special needs child helped by his own volunteer. 

The guarantee is that every child gets a chance to touch the ball

Mayor Michael Udine  was asked about the program.  He e-mailed me the following:

“The program originated with our “Soccer Buddies program and grew from there.  Weekends during soccer season special needs children are paired up with other students and volunteers and they get to play… Over the year there is a tremendous amount of growth in BOTH the special needs student and the Volunteer.  Always great at the end of the year… when these kids get their trophies.  Positive program all around.”

I can’t find a link to the article.  It is just starting to make the rounds of the city, but you soon can buy it in book stores, newsstands and many other places magazines are sold.

 Action Shot--parkland

Comments are closed.