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NEWS | Aug. 19, 2016

JBSA-Lackland Youth Center hosts British Soccer Camp

JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs

Youths of all ages had the opportunity to participate in a friendly soccer game, while braving San Antonio summer temperatures as part of Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Youth Center’s and Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camp Aug. 1-5.

Witnessing children playing on the field, whether scoring goals or allowing them, is rewarding for the team of international experts from Challenger Sports, an organization that conducts soccer camps throughout North America.

"I love seeing the kids grow a bit and enjoy the game," said Owen Hackett, Challenger Sports camp counselor. "When I was a kid, I always enjoyed playing soccer and seeing kids’ faces when they learn and do something new is what I enjoy most about teaching these camps."

Youths were instructed on the sport’s psychological and sociological elements, which include mental endurance and team leadership in addition to fundamental skills. They were also split into teams named after World Cup countries for exhibition play toward the end of the seminar.

"You have to keep them enticed so they return to these camps," said Jaime Best, Challenger Sports camp director. "We want them to have fun and become interested in the sport."

Col. Monica Partridge, Inter-American Air Forces Academy commandant, praised the instructors for exposing children to different countries’ soccer cultures and traditions. Her son, William, 9, has participated in the camp the past two years and plans to play youth soccer on base this fall.

"It is fantastic and very important they learn these things because we live in a global community," Partridge said. "These children in the military community can meet people from all over the world anytime."

Hackett hopes more children like Rondeau become competitively involved in soccer.

"We try to grow the game as much as we can," he said. "Our goal is to always give these kids a positive experience so they can continue playing soccer."

Call the JBSA-Lackland Youth Center at 671-2388 for additional information on youth sports.