Burns Lakers participate in last years soccer camp. While the Village of Burns Lake has conducted soccer camps before this is the first year that Brett Hyslop and World Cup soccer camps have come here to coach and instruct.

Burns Lakers participate in last years soccer camp. While the Village of Burns Lake has conducted soccer camps before this is the first year that Brett Hyslop and World Cup soccer camps have come here to coach and instruct.

The beautiful game takes hold in Burns Lake

World Cup soccer camps brings their elite level of coaching to Burns Lake for the week.

The World Cup might have been over for nearly a month now, after Germany defeated Argentina in extra time on July 13, but Burns Lake still has World Cup fever.

The first annual World Cup soccer camp is being held in Burns Lake this week, the camp started yesterday and will run until this Friday, Aug. 8.

Simultaneous soccer camps are being held in the communities of Houston and Smithers this week over the same days, and the camps will culminate on Saturday with a World Cup style tournament being held in Smithers.

The soccer camp in Burns Lake will be ran by a group called World Cup and is headed by head coach, Brett Hyslop, a former National Training Centre coach.

Hyslop has brought with him Emmanual Gomez and Trevor Stiles as a guest coaches for the camp.

Gomez has played soccer professionally over in Europe and currently plays for a club team in Argentina.

Along with his experience at the club level Gomez has also played internationally for Canada.

Stiles was a former goalkeeper for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

“These guys are full time soccer, they are full time coaches or players, they don’t have other jobs. Brett coaches exclusively. He was a coach with the National Training Centre so he had excellent credentials,” Donna Franz, who helped to organize the camp said, “The population isn’t what it is down south but they are willing to work with small groups of kids. They’re not in it just for the money they’re in it because they have a passion for soccer and a passion for kids they want to teach soccer because they love it.”

There will be six separate group sessions over the course of the four days, as camp participants are separated by age group.

Groups include four to six-year-olds, six to eight-year-olds, nine to 11-year-olds, 12-14-year-olds and 15-18-year-olds.

The soccer camp begins each morning at 10 a.m. and run through until 4 p.m., with an alternate session for 15-18-year-olds who work, which will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. each night.

“They do come to Smithers every year this is their first time in Burns Lake, and I hope we can get a good number of people to come out because the more people we can get out they’ll keep coming back,” Franz said, “This is a great opportunity to meet people that participate in soccer year round and it’s their life style.”

Most kids in Northern B.C. don’t have the access to the provincial and national programs like kids playing down in the Vancouver area do.

One of the reasons that Franz is so excited for the camp is not only because of the skills training that players in Burns Lake will encounter, but also because these are people that can provide links to provincial teams and programs.

“If you’re a soccer keener and want to get on a provincial team these are the guys to talk to because they can tell you how the system works and what you need to do and how to improve your skills and how to take it to the next, and if you don’t want that they’ll just teach you how to be a better player,” Franz said.

As of press time there were 28 kids signed up for the camp.

Franz hoped that number would reach 30 kids who had signed up for the camp.