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10:40 AM Sat, Feb. 16th

Soccer camp helps kids learn basics

Each year the Northern Arizona Youth Soccer League sponsors a camp for youngsters to learn soccer from its roots.

The English Soccer Experience is a week-long, three-hour a day camp run by coaches from England.

Mark Lowe is head of the camp and has been running it here in Kingman for the past six years.

He believes the camp plays a vital role in many of the campers' soccer education.

"We try to teach them basic techniques and make sure they're active the entire time they're here," Lowe said.

"It's important they enjoy the experience.

We want the kids to be constantly involved in soccer."

Lowe has been playing soccer all of his life and enjoys the opportunity to teach children the finer points of the game, especially here in Kingman.

"I grew up in England where soccer was a major part of the culture," Lowe said.

"Here, soccer is only a small part of the community, but it is growing.

This camp has become quite an event in this town.

"We see a lot of the same kids back each year, with a few fresh faces; that really says a lot about this camp.

It's an important part of the kids' soccer education."

Lynn Donohue, whose son Matthew is 5 and is entering his second year of attending the camp, feels that the camp is a good experience for her son.

"The guys are very encouraging and they teach them a lot," Donohue said.

"That's what makes the kids have so much fun.

When we get home, Matthew is so excited he can't sleep, he wants to tell me everything that happened."

To Lowe, that's what running this camp is all about.

"There are a lot worse things you could be doing, than spending time outside, teaching kids to play soccer," Lowe said.

"But it's so rewarding to see the same kids every year and to see that they're enjoying the game."

The camp runs all week long at Centennial Park from 5p.m.

to 8p.m.

Ages of kids at the camp range from 4 to 16.

The last chance to register for league play is Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

at Smith's grocery store.

Registration is $50.

A copy of a state birth certificate and a small photo is required.

Anyone interested should contact the NAYSL at 757-7056 with any questions.