Soccer camp concludes at complex

By Joel Charron

Mark Sweet loves soccer and he’s trying to pass his knowledge of the beautiful game to Amherstburg’s youth through a soccer camps.

Sweet, who has played soccer in amateur and semi-professional soccer leagues in England just wrapped up an eight -week soccer camp at the United Communities Credit Union Complex.

The camps are comprised of three ages groups. Children age 3-5 competed in the “Mini-kicks” division while kids aged 6-9 participated in the “Kickin’ It” division. The 10-14 division was known as the “Youth Soccer” division.

There were approximately 15 children in each division with boys and girls being mixed together.

The camp is designed to help work on the children’s ball control, control of your body, position play and teaching the children how to properly “head” and “chest” the ball. Sweet has even tried to teach the children the offside rule, which he said is a very difficult rule to play with.

For the past eight weeks Mark Sweet has been educating children on the game of soccer. This past Friday the soccer camps wrapped up.

“You name it and we’re trying to do it,” said Sweet. “Our goal is to just educate the kids so the can go and play with organizations such as the Amherstburg Minor Soccer Association (AMSA).”

Sweet, who year of experience has years coach, also works for the town and is employed at the United Communities Credit Union Complex. Sweet said having him run the camps cuts down on cost and at the same time gives the children a “top-notch” education of the game.

“This is a great program,” he said.

He also added that children from Belle River, Leamington and Essex have also participated in the camp.

To help him along the way, Sweet enlisted the help of his two boys, Kieran, 10 and Christian, 7.

“In soccer, a lot of the game is about position. I can use my own children to demonstrate how to position your body. They can also interpret for me, some of the children don’t under stand me because of my accent,” joked Sweet.

Sweet added he also tried to cater to children with special needs, noting he had one child with ADHD and another with a hearing problem.

Parents spoke highly of the program.

“I think this is a very good program,” said Sandra Goodwin.

Goodwin said she signed her son Nakona, 7, because he wanted to play soccer but she wanted to see where his skill level was before they joined AMSA. Goodwin has noticed an improvement since the beginning of the camp.

“With each class I see him getting better and better,” she said.

Sweet can also see an improvement with all the children.

“When you see kids develop their skills from day one until now it’s absolutely fantastic,” he said.

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