Natomas Resident Recognized by City Commission

Images of several young people on a field of grass. Some are visibly kicking soccer balls.

TOPS Soccer participants practice with their buddies. / Courtesy Photo

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Natomas community member Satty Rai was recently awarded with a Tim Haley  Recognition Award for her work with the TOPSoccer program.

The awards, now in their second year, were presented by the Sacramento Disability Advisory Commission during its March 1 meeting at City Hall.

Tim Haley Recognition Awards are given to Sacramento residents who go above and beyond to support the local disability community. Nominees must be city residents and have not previously received the award.

Rai is the founder and director of Natomas Futból Academy’s TOPSoccer program for players ages 4-21 who have disabilities.

US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is a community-based training program for all athletes with intellectual, emotional, and or physical disabilities. The program strives to provide soccer opportunities for players to develop at their own pace in a safe, fun, and supportive/inclusive environment.

“The philosophy for Natomas Futból Academy is that everyone can play soccer and the program truly supports inclusive communities which is what this commission aspires to,” Commissioner Brandy Tuzon Boyd said prior to presenting Rai with the award.

Rai recruits students from Natomas-area high schools to volunteer as buddies for program participants. She credits her son, who is on the autism spectrum, as the inspiration to start a local program.

Image of a woman holding a certificate, one man is standing on her left and two to her right.

Satty Rai (center> accepts the Tim Haley Award with TOP Soccer assistant Adidev (left) and Jason Carter and Dr. Jatinder Rooprai. / Courtesy Photo

“I think for all of us this is a community effort,” said Rai. “I know that my name has been nominated, but I do want to invite Jason Carter to the dais who I feel like has been a huge part of this program and Adidev Rooprai who has been my first assistant coach and trying to help with it. I am thankful to Dr. Rooprai who has been donating a lot of money for this program and Charles Laver who has been supporting our youth. Every Friday he brings pizza or he brings ice cream for our kids, for our program.”

2023 Tim Haley Recognition Award recipients also include Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, David Bain, Megan Engel, Dr. Lauren Morales, Carl Gayle and Kenya Martinez.

In 2022, Natomas resident Laver received the award for his work to restore the inclusive playground at Southside Park.

The award was created in memory of the late Tim Haley, who was a commissioner on the Sacramento Disability Advisory Commission.

Image of large group of individuals who received awards. They are joined by the commissioners. Two large screens read Thank You.

2023 Tim Haley Award recipients. / Courtesy Photo

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