On May 23, 2019, Tolland Soccer Club alum Tommy Leahy was killed in a tragic automobile accident. In his memory, over $36,000 was raised to support the Tolland Soccer Club TOPS Soccer program. On August 11th, Tolland Soccer Club announced a regional TOPSoccer initiative with the goal of involving hundreds of TOPS players and buddies in the next decade in Northeast Connecticut.
Long recognized by CT Junior Soccer Association (CJSA) as one of the premier TOPSoccer programs in Connecticut, the Tolland TOPSoccer program will now be free for all participants. Training sessions will be held on the turf and under the lights at the Tolland High School stadium where Tommy played for the Eagles. The club is encouraging any and all local clubs to reach out if they have players who would benefit from the program.
According to TSC President Dave Garritt, “Tommy Leahy was a life-long member of the Tolland Soccer Club, a starter on the 2015 Class M State Championship Tolland High School Soccer Team and an eight-year buddy in the Tolland Soccer Club TOPS soccer program. The resources raised in the wake of his death will enable us to bring the Tolland TOPSoccer program to the next level. We are grateful and believe it is a fitting tribute.”
“We know TOPSoccer provides tangible benefit to both players and buddies.” added Tolland TOPSoccer director Jeff Gallagher. “This new initiative will allow us to reach many more youth in Eastern Connecticut.”
TOPSoccer is a community-based program for young athletes with mental and physical disabilities, organized by US Youth Soccer Association volunteers. This program is designed to allow these athletes to learn skills and allow participation in recreational soccer, with the emphasis on having fun.
The Tolland Soccer Club TOPSoccer players come from Tolland and surrounding communities that do not offer TOPSoccer programs. The Connecticut Junior Soccer Association, the state-wide governing body for youth club soccer, recognizes the Tolland TOPSoccer program as one of the oldest and largest for club play in Connecticut.