The British are coming to Alpena.
Thunder Bay Soccer Association has teamed up with Challenger Sports, a Chicago-based soccer company, to bring a British soccer camp to Alpena. The camp will run next week at East Campus soccer fields.
"We have a great relationship with the Thunder Bay Soccer Association. We doubled the number of (participants) from last year's camp," Challenger Regional Director Ajay Nwosu said. "It shows that it's taking off and growing."
Nwosu credited the efforts of TBBA President Jodi Nash with bringing the camp to Alpena. Challenger relies greatly on volunteer efforts and Nash has helped promote the camp and bring it to Alpena in the past.
During the week-long camp, campers will receive instruction from British soccer coaches who are flown in each year to work on at the camps. In addition to learning footwork, skills, soccer moves and participating in daily tournaments, participants will be taught Challenger's core values of respect, responsibility, leadership and sportsmanship.
In addition to soccer skills, children will also participate in the Camp World Cup, a daily tournament used to teach campers about customs and traditions of other countries. Once they are given a country to represent, campers will try to learn as much as they can about that country, wear the team colors of that country and make up soccer chants among other things.
What: British soccer camp put on by Challenger Sports along with the Thunder Bay Soccer Association
When: June 11-15; Children ages 4-8 will go from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Children ages 9-14 will go from 1-4 p.m.
Where: East Campus soccer fields
Challenger has been conducting camps all across the United States for more than 20 years and has made stops in Michigan in places such as St. Igance and Pinconning. The camps encourage children of all skill levels from ages 3-19 to participate.
"Whether you've never played before or you're the best player in your town, we cater to everything," Nwosu said. "Our coaches cater to everything."