Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Paul Revere’s midnight ride may not have had this British invasion in mind.
Last week at the Riverview Park Activities Center, the annual British Soccer Camps took place. The camps are put on each year by Challenger Sports.
“Basically in the South, soccer isn’t that big,” Jack Allnutt, one of the coaches at the camp, said. “We’re just trying to promote the sport and make it fun for the kids. Hopefully, when they grow up, it will become a more popular sport here.”
According to the Challenger Sports website, the British Soccer Camps are the “most popular soccer camp in the country.” More than 1,000 coaches come from Great Britain each year to help teach youths about soccer.
Allnutt, who is served as the camp coordinator for this event, hails from Scotland. He was joined by Matthew Brown as part of the coaching staff.
The experience doesn’t stop just there, however. For the coaches, Challenger Sports sets up host families for them to stay with during their time. The goal from that is that the families and the individual will form a life-long bond that goes beyond the field.
At the actual camp itself, however, players ranged from 6 to 11 years old. It was the first year for Allnutt as a coach, and he was happy with the results.
“I’ve absolutely loved it, and I’m definitely going to come back next year,” he said.
One of the drills that was being run was called “Sharks versus Crabs.” In that drill, the sharks tried to dribble through the crabs, which consisted of other players crabwalking. As a crab snagged a ball, that shark was then turned over to the crab team.
“With the younger kids, what we do is create fun games, but, at the same time, we add a context to the game,” Allnutt said. “Sharks versus Crabs is all about dribbling, so basically, the crabs are in the middle, and the sharks need to get from the top to the bottom by using small touches and keeping the ball close. It helps with their control on the field and helps them in a game situation, though they don’t realize it.”
Allnutt said that the camp teaches kids all of the basics of soccer. There were also some famous moves on display, such as the Cruyff Turn, Maradona and Ronaldo Chop.
“Just some famous moves of some of their favorite players,” Allnutt said. “Then they can practice that and try to be like their favorite player.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.