The city’s young soccer players received some international training Aug. 21-25 at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre field.
More than 36 young soccer players aged 7 – 12 worked on their playing skills during the Challenger Sports soccer camp.
The international camp brings instructors and coaches from around the world to communities across North America to help players take their game to the next level.
Luke Beormingham has coached with Challenger Sports for three years, and was working in Canada and Prince Rupert for the first time. He led a group of athletes through a series of stations designed to help them improve their agility, balance and coordination. Short drills involving toe-taps on top of the ball or step overs allowed the players to work on skills they will eventually use in real game situations. In addition to ball control skills, the players went through an agility ladder to help improve their footwork.
Following the drills and a quick snack break, the group was broken up into teams for a world cup style tournament for bragging rights.
“It’s just a more organized way of bringing a larger group, instead of having them run around into each other,” Beormingham said. “Skill stations keep them compact in a smaller space and you can practice on one skill in each group.”
Beormingham, who travelled to Canada from Ireland to teach the camp, has taught in both the United States and Canada. He said every group of athletes he works with is different, with some children needing more attention or focus in one area over another. He said the key to teaching effectively is through methodically demonstrating a particular skill or movement.
“I think the kids respond very well to those steps,” he said.