The Yukon Soccer Association held a three-day soccer camp in Dawson City for a large and enthusiastic group of Dawson City F.C. players and coaches from June 17 to 19.
John MacPhail, executive director of the YSA, said the camp is always a hit in the community.
“I enjoy it a lot,” said MacPhail. “It’s always well attended, kids seem to enjoy it. It’s very much a community event.”
Turnout for the camp was high — approximately 40 players took part on both Monday and Tuesday — with an additional 10 coaches taking part in a brief session designed to introduce some of the tenets and guidelines the YSA and Soccer Canada are using.
“After five years, the thing I’ve always found is the support for soccer up there is fantastic,” said MacPhail. “To me it’s always been that community part of it that I find neat. It’s a group of them (and) they enjoy it and they do a very good job of it — that’s why they’ve had such success.”
On the pitch, the enthusiasm of the players stood out to MacPhail.
“They love the game,” said MacPhail. “It’s awesome. One of the young fellows … I had to kind of tell him it was time to go home because he just wanted to stay all day long. It was pretty cool, actually. … He was six or seven years old and he was out there with the U12s, so I had to kind of tell him. He just loves the game so much, it’s kind of neat. That’s the type of thing you’d like to bottle.”
This is the fourth clinic of its type MacPhail and the YSA have held this season. Previous clinics in Teslin, Carmacks and Haines Junction were held through the local schools, but the size of Dawson City F.C. made it possible to hold the camp separately.
A couple of the girls from Dawson City F.C. are on the team for the upcoming Western Canada Summer Games, MacPhail explained, adding that the club also has a number of very good U12 boys.
That success is due to the community effort, MacPhail reiterated.
“There’s a lot of parents helping and they have a board now,” said MacPhail. “We had those 10 coaches and they all want to do their part to help, (including) some of the younger players that want to give back. … It’s a very neat community of soccer up there.”
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org