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Campers learn soccer the British way

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Every summer Challenger Sports brings their British Soccer camps to the Sacramento area and last week 16 kids between the ages of 5 and 9 attended the camp held at Golden Hills School in El Dorado Hills. With British coach Christian Hartshorne, 22, leading the way, the kids learned the skills needed to be able to play the game of soccer. ?We want to teach soccer skills at the camp, but the emphasis is more on fun,? Hartshorne said. ?We want the kids to have fun by learning the skills and playing soccer.? The kids started each day of the weeklong camp with footwork drills before moving on to several core skills like dribbling, passing, shooting, heading and volleying. Hartshorne also covered defending and marking. ?There?s a range of abilities at the camp and we have to make sure we take care of the more advanced players and crack down on their skills because at the end of the day we?re out here to teach the game,? Hartshorne said. ?These kids improve day-by-day, you can see that.? On top of soccer skills, Hartshorne also teaches and discusses what is called ?champions of character.? These character traits include leadership, respect, responsibility, integrity and sportsmanship. Owen, 7, and Jacob Britton, 5, of El Dorado Hills attended the camp and liked it. Jacob, who was playing soccer for the first time, said he enjoyed the scrimmages, while Owen, who has played soccer for two years, said he likes to kick the ball around, pass and score goals. Frank Sciorelli of Cameron Park watched as his son, Michael, 6, play. ?My son?s never played before so this is his first experience with soccer,? Sciorelli said. ?I think this camp is good for him to get the experience, as he wants to play soccer this year. The coach is good and is really patient with the kids. If he enjoys soccer this year, we?d like to do this camp again next year if we have the opportunity.?