Brooke Smith

British Soccer camps bring European experience

Sylvan Lakers were afforded the opportunity to expand the sport in Central Alberta.

Soccer is quickly becoming a dominant sport in Canada and from August 8-12, Sylvan Lakers were afforded the opportunity to expand the sport in Central Alberta.

British Soccer Camps, an international development camp by Challenger Sports, came to Four Seasons Park where 33 kids and young adults learned the game courtesy of coaches from theUnited Kingdom the spiritual heartland of soccer.

On Thursday, August 11 soccer instructor Oliver Russell was busy teaching the skills of heading to a group of eager youngsters.

“So far it has been excellent,” he said. “Participation has been brilliant considering it’s the first camp for this area.”

The camp was divided into two parts, with the morning being used to teach integral skills and techniques and the afternoon being a time for fun and games in which the kids practiced the skills they learned in the morning.

Russell said the point is to try to develop the kid’s skills and hopefully teach them something new and improve their technique.

For Russell, the chance to bring the European experience of soccer to Canada is an exciting opportunity.

“It’s an excellent experience for both the coaches and the players,” he said. “It’s a completely different set-up in the UK, so we are trying to bring the UK set up. That is good becauseCanadian coaches might have a different philosophy. This way the coaches and the kids might see soccer in a different light.”

Russell sees Canada as a growing soccer community and sees the game only growing from here.

“Canada is a massive country with plenty of athletes to choose from,” he said. “It’s growing and will only get bigger with popularity. Hopefully camps like this will bring more participation from the kids, which lead up to the professional game.”

He added that hopefully the sport can get as big as it is in Europe.

If you would like more information about British Soccer Camps, you can visit challengersports.com

reporter@sylvanlakenews.com