CLOVER — The British have departed, but not without speaking in glowing terms of the Clover Parks and Recreation Department’s player-friendly youth soccer program.
Challenger Sports British soccer coaches Chloe Debaes and Matt Jamieson, who were the instructors for last week’s five-day camp activities at Clover Community Park, lauded the Clover Rec’s youth soccer outreach.
“Soccer is the No. 1 sport in our country,” said Jamieson. “It is a growing sport in the United States. Take a look at the youth soccer involvement in the Clover community and you can see why.”
Debaes said she was pleased with the response to the British-influenced youth soccer camp.
“The Clover Rec Department promotes youth soccer,” Debaes said during a water break Thursday morning. “The kids are excited They are developing their game and having fun doing it.”
Jamieson said the instruction at Clover Community Park focused the basic skills of the game.
Jamieson said soccer participants gain strength without spending time in the weight room.
“The demands of the sport make the kids physically stronger as they grow older,” said Jamieson. “They build leg strength with constant movement on the playing field.”
Bill Gordon of the River Hills community had two grandkids, River and Canyon, at the camp.
“Our grandkids enjoy playing soccer,” Bill Gordon said from a shady spot near the fence bordering the Clover Community Park walkway. “They play other sports and really like soccer.
“It’s a game where size doesn’t matter much. It’s the skill level that counts.”
Clover Parks and Recreation Director Greg Holmes and Program Director Donald Johnson are excited about the youth soccer surge locally.
“Our soccer program reaches as many as 650 kids year-round,” Holmes said.
The Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp, popular nationwide, included individual foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, small-sided games, coached scrimmages and a daily World Cup Tournament.
In addition, the Challenger coaching staff provided lessons in self-discipline, sportsmanship and respect for others and the game.
The Challenger camp concluded Friday with a graduation party.
The local program left a good impression on the visitors in other way.
“I love the food in Clover. I had never eaten okra. It’s really good,” Debaes said.