August 26, 2014 3:27 pm

North Preston youth ‘having a ball’ at soccer camp

HALIFAX – Dozens of youth in North Preston got a chance to kick a ball around at a soccer clinic hosted by the RCMP on Tuesday.

The TrySport program started in 2011, and this year, there was a waiting list after all 50 spots available were filled in advance.

“It’s to try and get members from the communities of North Preston, East Preston and Cherrybrook to get involved in some activities that they may not normally be involved in,” said. Cpl. Kwabby Oppong from the North Preston RCMP.

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“Some of the sports, the kids from the communities are under-represented and it’s a great opportunity for them to learn about the game, and for us as police officers to get to interact with the youth in a different setting and a positive environment.”

Wilhemimina Thomas, one of 50 kids taking part, is from the United States, but is visiting family in the area. She said it’s not something she usually does.

“I’ve played it in my school, like if there is a big game going on, but not really,”she said. “I learned how to kick the ball with my foot on it and learned how to be fast at soccer.”

Eight-year-old Dekai Beals, who’s used to playing basketball, got to brush up on his soccer skills.

“A lot of good soccer work, and a lot of good footwork and stuff”, he said.

Dre Smith said he’s learned how to dribble the ball better and put the ball  between his feet and jump.

“They’ve got professional soccer players who go away for soccer, and they have the Cole Harbour High coach here just teaching us how to play soccer and stuff,” he said.

Organizers say the clinic not only gives youth the chance to try something new, but also teaches them teamwork and valuable life skills.

“We’re all out here sweating having a good time, said Oppong. “There’s kids that may not normally get to play with each other or know each other that get a chance build some friendships and get to work as a team.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

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