A SERIES of soccer camps organised by Sheffield United have kept youngsters on the ball across Derbyshire during the school holidays.
Run by Sheffield United’s community division The United Initiative (U&I), the soccer camps allowed youngsters from Dronfield and Tideswell to try out different skills each day such as passing, dribbling, shooting and ball control.
The camps for boys and girls aged aged between five and 14 have taken place throughout the summer and are led by United’s professional coaching staff, who oversee skill-based sessions in the morning and organise games, often themed, in the afternoon.
This year the camps were also visited by a host of professional players who all took the time to participate in a question and answer session, pose for photographs and sign autographs.
At Gosforth Valley Playing Fields in Dronfield youngsters learned general football skills in the morning and enjoyed a ‘European Championship’ afternoon. The boys and girls were also visited by United midfielder Lee Williamson and defender Matthew Lowton dropped by to get involved at the summer camps held at Tideswell Sports Complex.
Mark Todd, community development manager at the United Initiative, said: “All of our soccer camps - including the girls-only ones – have proved to be more popular than ever and have really grown this year with excellent numbers attending.
“We have worked at new venues this summer with other partners to support their holiday football provision and are pleased that these relationships are developing. We will be looking to build on the success of these camps in the October break.”
Other camps were also held in Sheffield and Worksop.
Sue Beeley, Sheffield United’s head of community, added: “Children enjoy having something to look forward to and get involved with during the holidays - especially playing football - and the camps are a great way for young football fans to keep fit.
“We have been delighted at the number of Sheffield United players who have given time to visit the camps which has been a major treat for the youngsters involved.
“In previous years, successful youngsters from the camps have joined the development centre and even gone on to have trials with Sheffield United – so they can prove to be fertile ground for the club to spot potential talent at a grassroots level, too.”