Who are we and what's the program all about? North Shore Rovers ("Rovers") is a 100% volunteer group of awesome coaches and students that come out to the field Sunday mornings in the fall to create a really fun soccer experience in a safe, friendly and non-judgemental environment for kids with intellectual and physical disabilities ages 3-21. The program is free and we provide each player with a soccer ball and uniform and match each player one-to-one with a student volunteer for the entire season.
Gail & Jack Steele founded the Rovers in 2011, prompted by their soccer playing kids, Jackson, Eliza & Dylan, when they realized there was a need for a program in the area. Jack & Gail still run the program with the team of head coaches Randy Chalifour, Steve Harris, Kris Kennedy and Bob Dziadosz as well as a core group of our irreplaceable adult volunteers and our amazing student volunteers. We have roughly 100 players and 125 student volunteers from a combined 24 communities who have a wide range of personalities, interests, abilities and disabilities; there is truly a place for everyone at Rovers!
We practice every Sunday morning in the fall (except Columbus Day weekend) at McGrath Park in Salem, MA. The coaches lead both drill and game formats with focus areas dependant on age group and ability levels. We are big on having FUN, playing great soccer, making friends, good sportsmanship, being a good teammate, working hard and making meaningful progress in each player's unique way. Our student volunteers are the best, bringing enthusiasm, compassion, high fives and dedication to your children every time they come to the field.
Our players and volunteers were recognized by 01907 magazine (Fall 2018, "Wild Rovers") and by Channel 7 as "Class Act" recipients for their combined efforts to enhance each others lives, something we are so proud of and impressed to see each week during the season. Endless special thanks to our Rovers families and volunteers, the Cummings Foundation for their incredible support, the City of Salem for the use of their fields, Dick's Foundation, Salem Five Charitable Foundation and all of our other community supporters. Our players couldn't rock without you!! Go Rovers!!