The Comox Valley United Summer Soccer Camp has opened the fun to younger players. Scott Stanfield photo

Comox Valley soccer camp growing

Annual camp includes younger kids

Even the bambinos got in the action this year.

Children five years and under were included in the third annual Summer Soccer Camp, hosted by the Comox Valley United Division 1 men’s team July 16-20 at the 19 Wing Base.

Each day, instructors worked with 55 children in the Under-seven and U13 age brackets, along with the tykes.

The key to teaching four-year-olds?

“I would say the key to that is very small lengths of drills or games, so we try to keep it to seven or eight minutes,” said organizer/instructor Rob Caya, a member of the Div. 1 men’s team. “And getting them having water, considering the heat out here, every eight to 10 minutes.”

Caya’s Div. 1 teammate, Stefan Szkwarek, oversaw the camp. He is a B-licence soccer coach who is in the process of attaining an A-licence – the highest certification offered in Canada.

Along with local men’s and women’s players, the camp had some assistance from its sister group, the Campbell River Outlaws.

“We’ve also used some senior youth players to basically run the micros and bambinos, so those are a mixture of Comox Valley United select kids and Upper Island Riptide kids,” said Szkwarek, the VP of player development for the Comox Valley United Soccer Club. “So a big community effort on it this year.”

“It’s nice for the kids to have this kind of instruction with these high-level players,” Caya added.

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