During every school holiday period, Colchester United Community Foundation delivers a wide range of holiday activities and sports camps. Whether that’s a soccer camp, a goalkeeper camp or a multi-sports enrichment camp, we try to provide something for everyone and offer as many experiences to the local community as we can.
A shining example of this could be seen during the Whitsun half-term. Taking place at the JobServe Community Stadium, one young girl arrived with no previous football experience, not knowing anybody and very nervous to join in with the activities that were going on. Lauren, who had brought along her favourite soft toy (Stitch, from Lilo & Stitch), spent the first few minutes of the day watching, curiously taking in the activities and observing the other participants play. After having this short time to herself, lead coach Ed took some time to sit with Lauren, get to know her and see what he could do to involve her in the day’s activities.
Ed’s first plan was to find her a buddy that could help her settle in, be her partner in some of the games and give her someone to sit with during lunch and break times. He chose another young girl from the same year group, Darcy, who has lots of experience playing football and who takes part in a range of sessions within the Foundation’s programmes. It quickly became clear that both girls had a dog and both liked animals, which Ed used to spark a conversation. Their first challenge was to work in pairs and talk about their dogs and different animals whilst they were playing in the passing activity that had been put on.
Through Darcy, Lauren also made friends with Daisy, who Darcy knows from other sessions within the Foundation, and the friendships they made with each other grew from this point onwards.
It wasn’t long before Lauren was playing with a huge smile on her face and having a lot of fun. Even more than playing football, Lauren said that she loved getting to know her new friends and was excited to come back to another soccer camp in the future – a huge amount of progress achieved in just a couple of hours, from not wanting to join in at all, to looking forward to doing it all over again!
Darcy said she felt really pleased that she’d helped Lauren and recognised that she had done something really positive to help someone out. At the start of the day, Darcy had recognised that Lauren was new and had asked if she was okay even before being allocated as her buddy and was keen to be her buddy when asked and made her feel very welcome.
Daisy also enjoyed the added responsibility and showed her natural caring side, working with both girls during the day and helping them to push themselves whilst they were having fun. It was something she had done elsewhere previously, Daisy admits, so was comfortable in this role and was pleased to have made a difference. Over lunch, the girls found time to talk about what they all enjoy doing, making each other laugh and build on the foundations they’d laid throughout the morning.
Lauren was soon taking on advice from the coaches, being able to control a moving ball, complete accurate passes and take part in team games.
Our camps regularly attract hundreds of participants across the holidays periods, including a total of 55 participants on the Whitsun Soccer Camp that took place at the JobServe Community Stadium, providing lots of opportunities to meet new friends whilst learning new skills.
If you would like to book a place on one of our upcoming holiday camps, please visit the below link to browse our available courses.