Soccer Quest gathers talents from all over the world to coach kids throughout B.C., and the daycamp organization called Invermere home during last week.
From Monday, July 29th to Friday, August 2nd, 70 kids between five and 18 came together at Mount Nelson Athletic Park to spend all day practising soccer while taking part in some friendly competition.
“We bring our passion for the game, but we also make it a fun environment,” Soccer Quest owner Dave Spendlove told The Echo. “They’re not just standing there passing a ball for two hours at a time.”
After a morning of effective drills, kids are split into four teams, represented by the flags of soccer nations. Each team works together to earn points through soccer challenges and trivia. The kids aim to help their team collect the most points by the end of the week. Medals and prizes are the rewards.
During Soccer Quest’s stay in Invermere, local kids represented Brazil, Portugal, Australia and, of course, Canada. Flags were chosen for each team by their youngest member.
“We created it so kids have lots of fun, and the numbers go up nearly every year,” he said. “Last year we had 43 kids, this year we have 70.”
Mr. Spendlove was born in Liverpool, but has been running Soccer Quest in North America for 25 years. Many summers he hires coaches from the United Kingdom, and hires certified soccer coaches from universities all over Canada.
Each summer, the Soccer Quest team spends four months in roughly a dozen communities to share their skill.
“Participants in teams compete from day one in skills contests and various games to create self esteem and team building,” describes the Soccer Quest website (www.
While Soccer Quest can show younger children the ropes of soccer, it also takes players to a higher level through the High Performance Program for kids aged 12 to 18.
The program is based on the Vancouver Whitecaps “Play like a Pro” curriculum, and is taught by a high-level licensed coach.
“Players are expected to work hard and achieve the goals required to make it to the next level,” the website describes.
The event of rain, experienced mildly in Invermere during Soccer Quest’s time here, poses a minimal problem to the camp, Mr. Spendlove said.
“Unless it’s lightening, we keep going – and the kids just love it.”