On Tuesday, April 22, West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) soccer players teamed up with the YMCA of Southern West Virginia recreational soccer league for a one-day soccer mini-camp at the Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex in Beckley, West Virginia.
In all, 18 WVU Tech student-athletes worked with more than 250 YMCA players between the ages of 8 and 12 as they ran drills and played games on six of the complex’s eight full-size fields. The WVU Tech soccer players also provided helpful tips to the league’s volunteer coaches.
The YMCA’s recreational soccer season kicked off in early April and runs until mid-June, giving young players a chance to play in a friendly and cooperative environment.
“It’s an instructional league designed to teach kids the basics of the game. It provides a strong foundation to build on,” said Jason Logan, Assistant Program Director at the YMCA of Southern West Virginia.
WVU Tech’s soccer players saw the event as a valuable chance to share their passion with the community.
“Being able to coach young players was a great opportunity. Practicing with them and seeing how much fun they have makes me remember how much fun I have playing soccer and why I love it so much,” said WVU Tech women’s soccer player, Sydney Schaeffer.
“Our players look forward to getting out on the field and sharing the skills they have worked so hard to perfect,” said WVU Tech women’s soccer coach, Stephanie Kot. “It’s a great way to connect with the fundamentals that got them excited about the sport in the first place.”
For the YMCA of Southern West Virginia, the event is about getting the public involved.
“We’re very excited to partner with WVU Tech,” said Logan. “We’re always looking for ways to incorporate the community in our activities and this is one way to do that. The kids love these events and will remember it for the rest of their lives.”