Hannah (2)

Hannah Kent, a British soccer coach from England, dresses up for “Wacky Wednesday” during soccer camp in Harker Heights on Wednesday.

Jodi Perry/HERALD

For four years, my kids have participated in the Challenger Sports British Soccer camp in Harker Heights. The first year my kids were in the camp, they were very young. They had such a fun week.

While watching them play one day, a friend told me one of the British soccer coaches teaching the camp was living with her family. I did not know the coaches had host families and was very intrigued to hear about her experience.

She talked about how her kids enjoyed having their coach talk with them during their meals because the British accent is so lovely to listen to. They were learning new British terms and how things are done differently in Great Britain. Her children enjoyed sharing some of their favorite things and activities with their coach that week.

My family is a military family, but my children and I have never been to a foreign country and have never been stationed overseas. I thought that having a British soccer coach come stay with us was a great way to bring another part of the world home to our children. So, when I signed my kids up for soccer camp the next summer, I asked to host a British coach as well.

This is our third year to host a coach, and the experience is amazing. The first summer we hosted two British soccer coaches, one from England and one from Wales. This also happened to be the year the summer Olympics were in London. We enjoyed watching the games with our coaches and they taught us so much about Great Britain.

This year, Hannah Kent is staying with our family. She is from Merseyside, England, and this is her first year working with the Challenger Sports British soccer camp.

“When working with these participants, I get a lot of enjoyment out of it as sometimes you could be working with children who have never kicked a ball but by the end of the course they are scoring ten goals,” Kent said.

While staying in Texas, Kent has visited the Dallas Cowboys stadium, gone tubing on the river, visited Austin and the Stockyards in Fort Worth.

During her week here, we enjoyed sharing stories about how our countries vary and how much we have in common. We introduced Kent to Texas-shaped waffles, took her bowling and to play laser tag, took her to see the exotic animals at the farm in Topsey, enjoyed a barbecue dinner in our backyard with friends, and showed her how to make s’mores.

My children love the soccer camp and hosting the coaches is a part of the camp experience for us. Kent is now a part of our family and we have enjoyed how she has brought another part of the world to us.

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