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Soccer camp to teach skills, culture

Now that the World Cup is over, local soccer aficionados may be yearning for another taste of the sport.

Local children will have the opportunity not only to learn more about soccer, but also to learn about another culture, during an upcoming sports camp in Suffolk.

Registration is under way for British Soccer Camp, to be held Aug. 16-20. Ages 3 to 16 are able to participate in this fun camp, and fees range from $70 to $115.

“It’s a chance for kids to learn soccer the British way,” said Simon Ambrose, Virginia’s regional director for Challenger Sports. “They get to learn about a different culture as, well. It’s great for the kids and great for someone that young to meet someone from a different culture.”

Coaches for the program come from all over Great Britain, and stay with host families in the area, Ambrose said. Meanwhile, they teach children ages 3 to 16 beginning to advanced soccer skills.

“Each day, we have a different topic,” Ambrose said. “The emphasis is on individual skill development. We have about 20 different moves we teach the kids throughout the week, from basic skills and progressing in difficulty as the week goes.”

Different game-play topics, such as dribbling, passing, shooting and defending, also are addressed each day.

For the youngest players, Ambrose said, the emphasis is on fun learning, with different game drills to learn things like dribbling, stopping and starting.

“Every child has a ball at their feet all the time,” he said. “They’re always dribbling and switching the ball. We make sure they use different games to keep it exciting and keep them focused.”

There will be a $10 late fee for registrations received within 10 days of the camp’s first day. Registration may be done online at www.suffolk.va.us, in person at any Suffolk Parks and Recreation Center, or by phone at 514-7250.

The camp is broken up into four age categories:

First Kicks, for ages 3-4, runs from 9 to 10 a.m., and the fee is $70.

Mini Soccer, for ages 4-6, runs from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m., and the fee is $85.

Player Development, for ages 6-9, runs from 9 a.m. to noon, and the fee is $115.

Player Development II, for ages 10-16, runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., and the fee is $115.

All classes will be held at the Kings Fork Athletic Fields, located at 1234 Kings Fork Road. Camp includes a free ball and T-shirt.

For more information, call 514-7255, 514-7265, or visit www.challengersports.com.