A summer program at Fort Polk aims to teach children not only about soccer, but about character and responsibility.

A summer program at Fort Polk aims to teach children not only about soccer, but about character and responsibility.

British Soccer Camp is a joint effort between Challenger Sports and Fort Polk Youth Services. Several programs are offered in June, July and August.

The British Soccer Camp will be at the Fort Polk Youth Soccer Fields, at 6880 Radio Road.

Mike Rees, regional director for Challenger in Texas and Louisiana, said that this is truly a “British” soccer camp. The coaches are from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales.

For youngsters, that adds to the appeal, he said.

“Just being around the coaches, with the vast cultural difference that we have, is enough to make the child have a fantastic summer,” he said — in a Welsh accent.

The youngsters will get professional coaching to develop skills, perfect existing skills, and even teach new skills, Rees said.

Everything builds up to the soccer camp’s own version of the World Cup, where the students are divided up into teams, each named after a country. In addition to the soccer skills, students will also have homework as they research their adopted nation, he said.

This tends to be an eye-opener for the students.

“At the start of the week, if you ask them to name a country in the world, they would go ‘Florida’ or ‘Texas,’” Rees said. “By the end of the week, they know the capital city of France, the currency, how many times they’ve won the World Cup, and the name of a famous soccer player. So as you can tell by that, it’s a very fun learning experience as well.

The students also learn about character, leadership, responsibility and more, he said.

“It’s not just a soccer camp; it’s an all-around learning experience,” Rees said.

The program is $88, for children ages 3 and 4; $102, for children ages 5 and 6; and $133 for participants ages 7 through 16. Boys and girls are accepted.

Each camper will receive a free T-shirt, soccer ball, soccer poster and camp certificate. In addition, any child who signs up online with Challenger at least 45 days prior to camp will receive a soccer jersey.

Teams are also welcome to attend and receive a week of focused instruction to prepare them for the fall season, Rees said.

Space is limited, so parents should sign up online in advance to avoid disappointment. Register at the Challenger Sports National Office at 8263 Flint, Lenexa, KS 66214, or call (913) 599-4884, or email info@challengersports.com.

More information please contact Mike Rees at (512) 416-7706 or email mrees@challengersports.com.