British Soccer camp comes to Tri-City area

Challenger Sports’ British soccer camp came to the area this week and was held at Tiger Stadium in Morgan City. The camp was open to youngsters, ages 3-18. Morning and afternoon sessions were held during the week. It was run by three British soccer coaches, Bobby Capewell, Reese Jones and Craig Thompson, who all have semiprofessional soccer experience. The camp concluded today. In the left photo, Thompson works with youngsters Thursday afternoon in the 3-4-year-old age group. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)

Bobby Capewell works with a participant in the 11-16 year-old group. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)

Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camp came to the area this week and held lessons at Tiger Stadium in Morgan City for area youngsters. The camp was offered to youth, ages 3-18. The camp’s coaches, all from Great Britian, were, from left Bobby Capewell, Reece Jones and Craig Thompson. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)

For us to have it hear at the same time, that’s kind of neat.

They may be from a different continent than their students but this week, members of Challenger Sports’ British Soccer camp got to bond with area youngsters through one sport they can both relate.
Reece Jones, of Plymouth, Craig Thompson of New Castle and Bobby Capewell of Scarbrough, or as Thompson says, the “English Las Vegas,” all were in Morgan City Monday through today to help youngsters refine their skills.
“The camp’s been fantastic,” Capewell said Thursday.
Jones said 54 kids signed up, which is a good number for a starting camp.
The camp was open this week to youngsters, ages 3 to 18.
Jones said with the younger campers, the emphasis was having fun and just learning basic skills, while things were more technical with the older group.
Local coordinator Dawn Lacoste said the camp has gone well.
“Every parent here has said their kid has enjoyed it, they’ve learned stuff and it’s been fun,” she said.
Lacoste, who said the ball got rolling about the camp when she was contacted via Facebook about it from a Challenger Sports representative, said she has plans to bring the camp back next year.
Jones said he would like to see the camp grow in future years.
Lacoste and Jones both said that it was nice to have the camp on the cusp of the FIFA World Cup, which is set to begin June 12.
“For us to have it hear at the same time, that’s kind of neat,” Lacoste said.
All three of the instructors have been with Challenger Sports for at least a year and all have semiprofessional playing experience. Thompson still plays for Morpeth FC in Britain.
Jones, who is in his second year with Challenger Sports, said there are about 70 British coaches in Texas and Louisiana working, and about 2,400 coaches working for the company in the United States and Canada. All coaches are flown over from England.
Most of the camps are conducted during the summer but some in the spring. Lacoste said the same camps are being held in Louisiana with Morgan City’s instructors bound for Broussard next.
Besides the humidity here, Capewell said he enjoyed his time here.
“Everybody’s very kind, always willing to do stuff for you,” he said.
And there’s the food and wildlife
“I love the food,” Jones said. “I love it. I had crawfish for the first time. It was amazing. I went out looking for alligators, and I saw an 11-foot. It’s first alligator I’ve seen in the world, so it’s been a good experience.”

By GEOFF STOUTE gstoute@daily-review.com

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