Sports camps keep youth active

Young people from Meadow Lake and surrounding communities came together last week for two separate sports camps. Both camps – which also took place last summer and focused on volleyball and soccer – involved skill development and training. Here, CHS teacher Cheyne Dallyn gives volleyball advice to Cassidy Derocher.

Young people from Meadow Lake and surrounding communities came together last week for two separate sports camps. Both camps – which also took place last summer and focused on volleyball and soccer – involved skill development and training. Here, CHS teacher Cheyne Dallyn gives volleyball advice to Cassidy Derocher.

by Derek Cornet

Two sports camps in Meadow Lake last week proved to be popular with area young people.

At Carpenter High School, participants took part in a volleyball camp featuring University of Saskatchewan student Jordan Nowakowski while, at nearby Jubilee Elementary School, United Kingdom soccer athletes Calum Grill and Rachiel Morris instructed a separate camp. Nowakowski organized the volleyball camp last year as well and said it was nice to see a lot of returning players.

“There’s a high number of people who are back from last year and there are some new faces, which is awesome,” he said. “We have a really good enrollment with this camp. The kids are having a blast and that’s nice to see.”

The volleyball camp was open for youngsters from Grades 7-12 and ran daily from 9 a.m. to about 9 p.m. Nowakowski said the hours made for long days, but the time is worth it because of the development he’s seen amongst attendees. He said the younger players are really improving and could become strong players if they continue.

In the first half of the week, the participants practiced simple skills such as ball control, passing, setting and blocking. Then as the week progressed, they began learning other skills such as advanced attacking.

“A lot of them will be doing things they’ve never done before,” Nowakowski said. “We’ll play some games too and see if they can show off some of what they learned.”

Fourteen-year-old Goodsoil resident Jennifer Sonntag travelled to Meadow Lake every day last week specifically to take part in the camp. This year marked her third time participating and said she continues to do so because it gets her prepared for the volleyball season at school.

“I’ve learned a lot of little things that improve the basics,” she said. “They really teach a lot of strategy on how to work with the ball and it’s a lot of fun.”

Meanwhile, close to a dozen young people took part in the soccer camp organized by Challenger Sports. Grill – who travelled from the U.K. to Canada to teach the sport – said the camp was also mainly about enhancing players skills. In the mornings, participants learned dribbling, passing and defending techniques while freestyle activities and soccer games were held in the afternoon.

The participants were encouraged to become involved by using a points system. Using the idea of the World Cup, players earned points for games won, but also for other good deeds and actions. Grill said a player could still be awarded the “World Cup” – even if they didn’t win many games – if they demonstrated sportsmanship, integrity and team work.

“Soccer seems to be really moving along in Canada,” he said. “I know Canada’s main sport is hockey and soccer is quite similar in terms of the movements.”

He also noted more young Canadians are watching the World Cup on TV and can recall the names of players. Grill said it makes him happy more people are becoming more interested in the sport.

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