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PREACHING ON THE PITCH

AIS camp teaching more than just soccer skills

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PREACHING ON THE PITCH

Camp goers from the 9th Annual AIS Soccer Camp played scrimmages, work through skills drills and got life lessons from camp coaches throughout the week-long camp at Northgate Park.

JAGADA CHAMBERS/The Bulletin


POSTED August 1, 2012 11:32 p.m.

Their message is simple.

Soccer and Scripture.

Those are the two foundations that have continuously combined the Ambassadors in Sports with Crossroads Grace Community Church in a week-long soccer camp at Northgate Park for nearly a decade.

The AIS team of coaches and camp directors descend into the Manteca area and join forces with Crossroads to give local children an opportunity to gain quality coaching on the pitch coupled with Scripture-based life lessons.

“We want them to leave better soccer players then they came,” AIS coordinator John Boggs said. “We also want them to learn biblical values that will really have an impact on their life far beyond sport and soccer.

“And not just make a difference in their life physically, but spiritually and eternally.”

Kids from ages 3 and 4 to teenagers, grouped up and learned the game of soccer while competing in drills and scrimmages. Recent area high school soccer standouts joined forces with the AIS coaching staff. Including Manteca High graduates Airenne Curry and Oral Nunis, who attend Crossroads Grace.

“It feels good to have a chance to give back to the community,” Nunis said. “Some of these players are really, really good and they come out excited to play.”

The kids were entertained with skits, and called on for question-answer sessions — all on top of getting quality soccer tutelage from players from all over the world. AIS instructors came from Brazil, South Africa, England, Northern Ireland and Australia.

Adam Bull has made the journey from his current home in South Africa where he works with youthful offenders in the South African penal system. The same message of hope and honing soccer skills that Bull is delivering in Manteca is his primary agenda back home in Cape Town.

“For us as coaches it is a great experience to come and travel America and see the real America staying with these host families,” Bull said. “Last week we were on a farm with pigs and wild animals everywhere, and weeks before we were staying in massive houses.

“We had opportunities to meet different people from all over and that’s been a great experience.”

The AIS coaching team stay with host families throughout its extended stay in America. The coaching staff is coming off its first Woodland session last week and currently have camps being conducted in Washington and Ohio as well as the session in Manteca.

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