About 200 children from Central Texas participated in the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp this week at the Summit Soccer Complex in Harker Heights.
Morning and evening workshops helped children learn the fundamentals of soccer. Children ranging in ages from 3 to 16 were divided into groups and assigned a coach from Great Britain who worked with them on everything from introducing the youngest campers to soccer and teaching aspiring soccer stars the skills of the game, to playing games as teams representing different countries.
British soccer coaches are selected by the Challenger Sports organization to represent them each summer in the United States and Canada. The coaches attend training before being assigned to regions of North America.
“Over 1,000 coaches attend a three-day training weekend at Warwick University in England,” said Jon Davies, regional director for Challenger Sports.
Coaches live with host families, and share meals with them and participate in various activities. Bobby Capewell, the director of the Harker Heights soccer camp, said this is his fourth year to work for Challenger Sports but his first time staying in Texas. Capewell is originally from Scarborough, England.
“Everything is bigger in Texas,” Capewell said.
The Kime family of Harker Heights hosted a coach for third time this year.
“It’s always been a great experience for our family to have these coaches come stay with us,” Kathleen Kime said. Kime said her boys, Nathan and Evan, enjoyed the experience of interacting with the coaches at camp and at their home. “They are a good influence for our kids.”
James Armstrong, who is from St. Albans, England, stayed with with Kime family during his first assignment with the Challenger Sports organization. Armstrong has been playing soccer for 20 years and said this was his first time in Texas. He previously coached in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.
“I enjoy trying all of the different food and am looking forward to having a steak,” Armstrong said. “I enjoy teaching soccer to kids of all ages and abilities.”
For more information on the Challenger Sports organization and how to host a coach next summer, go to http://challengersports.com/.