News: Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ's for Players | FAQ's for Volunteers
My child has never played soccer before, is that okay?
Of course! Most of our first-time players have never played soccer before, and because we split kids into age- and ability-appropriate levels everyone has a place at Rovers!
Do the parents stay during the practices?
Yes. A parent or caregiver is required to remain at the field for safety reasons. Enjoy the time to watch your child having fun! Set up a chair or blanket on the sidelines. If you feel like meeting the other player’s families just say hello-everyone at Rovers is really friendly.
Do I have to live in Salem to play?
No! We have a players and volunteers from a combined 24 communities in the area. Any interested player is welcome no matter where they reside.
How much does the program cost?
It’s free (with gracious thanks to the Cummings Foundation)! We provide your child with a ball, uniform and season-end trophy. You will need to get him/her a pair of cleats, soccer socks, shin guards, and a water bottle. Cleats do not have to be expensive, just comfortable (and shin guards that slip under the socks are easiest)!!
What types of disabilities do the other children have?
Our players have a wide range of both intellectual and physical disabilities, with the majority of our players being on the autism spectrum. All disabilities are welcome and our goal is to help each child succeed in his or her own way, be it social, developmental or physical.
How does the one-on-one mentoring system work?
One (or sometimes two depending on need) of our volunteers will be partnered with your child for the entire season, greeting him/her at the field each week and playing together on the field. Our program could not operate without these impressive teenagers; we think you’ll be impressed as well. Any input you can give them about your child’s personality, triggers, motivations, etc., is hugely helpful!
What are the tournaments/Friendly games?
Our older players have the optional opportunity to play in “friendly” competition against other similar special needs soccer programs in the area. The games are really fun, everyone gets a medal and there’s pizza at the end! No pressure to join in but it’s a great experience for those who participate.
Any other questions or thoughts? Always feel free to contact Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org 781-592-9978
I’ve never worked with anyone with a disability, is that okay?
Absolutely! Most of our volunteers have little to no experience working with someone with a disability. We will give you general guidelines but the key is to make it FUN for you player- get to know him/her first and see the disability second. Soon you will develop a level of trust with your player so you can help him/her accomplish goals large and small. There are lots of adults on the field as well as experienced volunteers who are all happy to help you out if you ever have questions. It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling to know you can make a really positive impact on someone else. And it’s really fun!!
I want to commit but know I’ll be away for a weekend during the season, is that okay?
Yes, if it’s one weekend. Being committed to making practices every week is essential. Many of our players need reliability and having you miss a week can completely throw them offwhich is why we have such high expectations for attendance. But we’re human and understand missing a week. If you know it will be more than one missed practice, partnering with a player may not be the right role; please email Gail to discuss other roles available.
Do I earn community service hours?
Yes, and our endless thanks for making the commitment to our players. Letters of hours served will be handed out at the last practice; time earned varies on session (one is longer than the other), tournament travel, etc.…
What is a Rovers Ambassador and what are the responsibilities?
The Rovers Ambassador program was designed to give volunteers an opportunity to assume more responsibility and act as the interface between Rovers and their school community. 1-2 Ambassadors per school will reach out to soccer teams and other relevant groups to share the word about volunteering or playing at Rovers and to be available to answer questions from any interested parties. Additional community service time is earned for serving as an Ambassador. Please indicate your interest on the registration form.
What should I call the coaches and other adult volunteers?
We are all on a first name basis, no formality.
Can I send a friend the information?
Absolutely! Please direct them to the website.
If you have any other questions and don’t find the answers in the registration or on the website feel free to email Gail or ask any of the coaches. THANK YOU for your interest!