British soccer camp comes to APG
(From left) Coach Philippe Sousa and Peter Castaldi, 10, watch as Ben Muzzelo, 12, and Ben Stroka, 12, go for the ball during the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp held at the Aberdeen Proving Ground North (Aberdeen) soccer field July 9-13.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Over 60 children, ages 5-14, braved the summer heat during the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp at the Aberdeen Proving Ground North (Aberdeen) soccer field July 9-13.

The annual summer camp, hosted by Child, Youth & School Services, brings experienced coaches who are trained primarily in the United Kingdom. This year APG campers also received instruction from a Brazilian coach, Philippe Sousa.

According to the Challenger Sports British Soccer website, the goal of the summer camp program is to deliver "quality coaching with a unique British cultural twist."

The website also lists Challenger Sports as the most popular soccer camp provider in the United States and Canada. This year over 3,000 communities will host Challenger Sports summer camps and clinics for over 150,000 players.

Each day the coaches taught the children soccer fundamentals, coached scrimmages and held daily competitions. The children were divided into different countries to compete for the "World Cup," which was given at the end of the week. Children were also selected as their team's "Most Valuable Player" of the day for demonstrating good sportsmanship.

Ryan Thomson, a coach from Ireland, said that campers were taught proper soccer techniques ranging from dribbling, passing, shooting, tackling and defending. Campers also learned about team work.

"Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp emphasizes respect, responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and leadership," Thomson said. "We also want them to have fun. That is very important to the coaches. We want to show the children how much fun they can have playing outside, staying active. Children can learn so much by playing sports."

Thomson added that he appreciated the assistance that the CYSS Sports staff provided throughout the week to ensure the camp was a success.

"They were very helpful," Thomas said. "They always made sure we had plenty of water to drink, and were available whenever we needed them."

Capt. Christian Marks, from U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, who watched from the sidelines during his lunch break, said that his son Cameron Marks, age 5, was so eager to learn more about soccer that he asked to attend the full day camp.

"I think they do an excellent job incorporating key soccer drills," Marks said. "These drills help them develop as soccer players."

Camper Leslie Thompson, 12, said that she was excited to use what she learned at camp in school.

"I love soccer, I think this camp will help me prepare for the upcoming season," she said.

For information on upcoming CYSS Sports activities visit or call CYSS Sports Director Bill Kegley at 410-306-2297.

Page last updated Mon July 23rd, 2012 at 15:20