Young soccer fans will be enjoying a chance to learn from some top-notch players during an Athletes in Action Soccer Camp which kicks off July 31.
The week-long event runs daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Lacombe Christian School’s east campus, on the green space just north of Bethel Christian Reformed Church.
Athletes in Action is putting on the event in partnership with Bethel Christian Reformed Church, said local lead organizer Travis Eggink, who is also the principal of the Central Alberta Christian High School.
“The camp is run by Athletes in Action which is a faith-based ministry that works through sport to develop sports in communities, and also to share the gospel message through the testimonies of the coaches,” he said, adding that this is the first time the camp has been held in Lacombe.
“Our goal was to have about 30 kids ages five to 12, but we had a cap of 60. We’ve maxed it out and have a waiting list, so we’ve been pretty blessed with the buy-in from the community,” he said.
“Athletes in Action will be sending us a team of four university and college soccer players who will be head coaches for our camp, which has 60 kids registered in it. They are ages five through to 12,” he added.
Eggink said the visiting coaches will run the camp, while local volunteers will help out by providing snacks, helping with registration, and providing some assistant coaching, too.
“We have a team of about 20 volunteers from the church to help with it, so there are lots of people here to help make this happen.
“We are really excited to get these coaches in. It’s a team of four coaches, and they are running camps all summer. They provide high-level soccer camps, that also provide an opportunity for outreach for churches,” he said. “It’s a different way for churches to do outreach during the summer.”
Athletes in Action comes out of the Power to Change Ministries.
“As far as Canada is concerned, it’s based out of Vancouver. I was a head coach for Athletes in Action for two years when I was in university,” he said. “So for me, this is a bit of a throwback!”
Eggink said Athletes in Action staff are also involved with college and university campuses, plus with the pro leagues.
“They have different ways in which they work to use sport as a tool for ministry – whether that is professional sport, college sport, or all the way to these kids’ camps,” he said.
“I love soccer myself. I also coach for Lacombe Minor Soccer, and I’ve coached high school soccer for a lot of years,” he said, adding that he’s thrilled for this new opportunity to meet more of the kids and families of Lacombe.
“It’s the coming together of a lot of different parts so my life in a pretty exciting way,” he said, adding that soccer is something he’s always had a passion for as well.
“I love that this is a team sport, that you have to work as a unit and not as individuals, and there is that fitness part of it as well. It’s an awesome game, you can play anywhere and with anyone – and with any number of people. It’s accessible to everyone.”
While the camp is full at this point, there is a waiting list. For more information, call 403-782-6400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.