Northwest Ohio to host three British Soccer Camps for youth this summerWritten by Kevin Moore | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Soccer is the world’s most popular sport. The United States has historically been relatively uninterested in what the rest of the world calls football, choosing instead to watch baseball and the American version of football. But in the last decade, soccer has made strong inroads into American culture and, as a result, soccer has become increasingly popular among the young people in the U.S. This summer, children and teens in the Toledo area can learn and practice the fundamentals of the game in three soccer camps in Northwest Ohio being put on by Challenger Sports.
Challenger Sports is a sports training company that was started in Kansas in 1985 by entrepreneurs Ron Matsch and Jim Jorgensen. Today Challenger Sports operates 3,000 week-long camps serving 130,000 campers across the U.S. and Canada.
“All of our camps are staffed and operated by British youth soccer coaches,” said Challenger Sports Regional Director Simon Wigley. “We will have about 900 coaches this year, and they’ll stay with host families in the communities where their camps are. All of our coaches have a soccer background; many played at the collegiate level back home.”
All ages and skill levels are welcome at British Soccer Camps. The camps are organized into groups based on age as young as 3 and as old as 16.
“Each day the camps cover the core skills of soccer like dribbling, passing, and shooting as well as more advanced fakes and turns,” Wigley said. “What’s nice about our British Soccer Camps is the curriculum is individually tailored. So, if we’re doing a dribbling exercise, the coach might have the beginners work on a basic dribble with more experienced players practicing more advanced techniques.”
Players are divided into teams at the beginning of the week where they compete towards the “Camp World Cup” held on Friday.
“Each team picks a country to represent, and every day they earn points for winning or performing moves,” Wigley said. “There’s also a cultural aspect too. Players can earn points through researching their country, making a flag and sharing fun facts.” Parents are invited to attend the last day of camp of Friday where the World Cup champions will be determined and there will be activities such as face painting .
Campers leave British Soccer Camp with a T-shirt and a soccer ball, and those who register 45 days in advance get a replica British soccer jersey.
“But more importantly, players learn values like respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, leadership and integrity that are important not only in soccer but in life in general,” Wigley said.
“Soccer is number one in youth sports. It grows every year among kids, and it’s growing overall. I think the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team and NBC coverage of the English Premier League have contributed a lot to that growth,” he said.
Northwest Ohio will feature three Challenger Sports British Soccer Camps this summer. Bowling Green Parks and Recreation will be hosting one at the Dunbridge Soccer Fields in Bowling Green on the week beginning June 23; Glass City Soccer at the Believe Center in Toledo beginning July 7; and the Springfield Soccer Association at Community Homecoming Park in Holland begging July 7. Prices and times vary based on age and location, but camps are generally offered 9 a.m. to noon or 5-8 p.m. Challenger Sports will accept players through the camps’ start dates, and there is no limit on the number of players who can participate.
For more information, visit www.challengersports.com.