By JIM METCALFE
DHI Media Sports Editor
DELPHOS — The British have come! The British have come!
That is, the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp for youth has come to Delphos once again.
The annual event is being held at the St. John’s Annex this week by instructors Sam Warnes and Henry Taylor for youth soccer players age 4 to approximately 11 — with one exception.
Several area soccer players — 11 — have taken advantage of these introductory sessions.
“We focus on passing on Monday, dribbling Tuesday, shooting Wednesday, heading the ball Thursday and defense and tackling on Friday — those are the core skills. That’s what we do every week of every camp,” Warnes began. “We do different drills to emphasize each skill but we try to make it fun in the process. We’re more about making it fun for the campers — we’re lighter on the technical aspects — to either get them interested if they are new to the sport or keep their interest growing if they’ve already been to a camp. Most of the players we have here this week have all told us they’d like to come to another one; that to me is a success.”
With the ongoing World Cup in Brazil, the camp has a World Cup theme.
“After an opening ceremony Monday, we have them wear team colors, like for the United States, Brazil, England, Italy, France. We have them make flags for the closing ceremony on Friday, which we invite their parents to attend,” Warnes said. “We have split this year’s camp up between Henry and I; he takes the 4-6 age group and they leave at 10:30 a.m., while I do the players from 7 to 11-plus. When the younger kids leave, he comes over and helps me with the older children.”
That’s the first time they’ve done this with two instructors for that reason.
“We use silly games, like ‘Islands in the Corner’, ‘Tom and Jerry’ (cat and mouse) and ‘Capture the Flag’ — only in this case it’s capture the soccer balls — instead of just drills, though we do have some of those. Again, it’s all about fun more than techniques, even though you can see the kids improve from the first day to the last.”