SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Soccer Club began its TOPSoccer program last Saturday. The Outreach Program for Soccer is for special needs children ages 5 through 16, teaching them how to play the game. The focus is on having fun with soccer games and appropriate activities for each player.

The program pairs the athletes with buddies, typically high school students, for a one-on-one experience. 

The season will continue for five more Saturdays, with the exception of Oct. 11. All games and activities take place at the field house on South Sparta Avenue in Sparta.

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Parents are required to stay on site during the games but they are not allowed to coach. 

TOPSoccer is coordinated by Gil Gibbs and Shauna Stanley. The Sparta Elks Club provides financial support as well as sponsoring the annual Halloween party. Each year, the Kiwanis Club also throws a barbecue for the participants.

“It’s really a great program,” said Gibbs.

For anyone interested in the program, they can contact Gibbs directly: or (973) 670-7217.