Challenger Sports employs professional soccer coaches from the United States, UK and Brazil. With 1,000 spaces available, only the most talented and enthusiastic coaches are recruited. Most of the coaches hold top UK and European coaching licenses, honors degrees and teaching qualifications. Coaches work with campers ages four through 17 on all the basic soccer moves. Photo courtesy of www.challengersports.com

Brandon Nottingham
Staff Writer

Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation along with Challenger Sports will play host to the first ever Marlinton British Soccer Camp June 26 through June 30.

Recreation Program Coordinator Kristen LeCroy invites everyone to come out and enjoy this unique opportunity.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing,” LeCroy said. “They had this down in Lewisburg last year, and it was a really great opportunity for the kids to receive professional coaching for soccer. We are working alongside Challenger Sports, and they have been wonderful to work with. We are also doing this completely non-profit, so that it can be available for such a low price. Some other camps that are available can cost more than three times as much. And you also have to travel for them. We want to bring the camp right to you, so even if you live in the upper end of the county, it’s not too far to drive. Also, Challenger Sports has an outstanding team of pro- fessionals at their disposal. All of the coaches are UK certified, and have a genuine drive to reach out to rural communities to share their experience with soccer. Parks and Rec also offered a scholarship for one soccer player in the county. The coaches will determine the winner.

“It was to be someone who showed great passion, drive and love of the game, as well as sportsmanship and dedication,” LeCroy said. “It was extremely hard for them to choose just one. The coaches selected Jolene Workman of Hillsboro U6, and, as a result, she will attend the camp for free.”

The camp will be held at Stillwell Park. LeCroy said some of the skills that will be practiced will be speed/ agility drills, juggling, passing, foot control, dribbling and shooting.

There will be two age groups in the camp.

Ages four through seven are Mini Soccer, and their course is from 9 to 10:30 a.m. The cost for them is $75.

Ages seven through 17 will have a half day camp from 9 a.m. to noon. That camp will cost $119.

Everyone who signs up for the soccer camp will receive a free soccer ball, action poster, a camp shirt and a 12-month online subscription to a coaching resource.

Parks and Rec will host a Free Soccer Sampler day at Stillwell Friday, June 2. Ages four through eight will have class from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and ages nine and up will have class from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The players will work on ball mastery fakes and turns, have small sided games, and also get coaching from Challenger Sports’ Coach Martin McQueen, who hails from Scotland. All children should bring a soccer ball and appropriate soccer attire.

Registration is not required.

The Challenger Sports team will also give away a free trip for a family of four to travel to the UK and watch the South Hampton FC team play in a premier league match.

Visit southhamptonfc.com/challengersports for more details.

Registration fee for the British Soccer Camp can be paid at the front desk at the Community Wellness Center in Marlinton, or applications and checks can be made payable to Challenger Sports and mailed to Carl Davey, 1329 E. Kemper Rd, #4214, Cincinnati, OH, 45246. Carl Davey can be reached at cdavey@challengersports.com or 513-245-4019.

Brandon Nottingham may be contacted at blnottingham@pocahontastimes.com