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Netting skills & more
International soccer camp inspires youth
Coaches from all over the world showed up in Manteca to help direct the Ambassadors in Sports soccer camp conducted over five days in Manteca last week.

The Ambassadors In Sports made their way into Manteca for the eighth consecutive year teaming up with Crossroads Grace Community Church for an inspiring soccer camp complete with soccer skills training intertwined with the Bible teachings.

Nearly 70 kids participated in the five-day camp, directed by Ambassadors In Sports coordinator John Boggs. Boggs has been a part of every trip the organization has made to the Manteca community.

“The partnership that we have with Crossroads is fantastic,” Boggs said. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. As an organization, Ambassadors tries to partner with a church so we come in for a week and do a camp, build relationships with these kids and they follow it up year round.”

Crossroads fills the gaps in certain areas to help the camp run without hindrance. The church community provided host families for all of the 13 coaches and handled all the leg work for the kids involved. The relationship between the two organizations is the key ingredient for the camp being a success.

“We work together with A.I.S to bring this camp to the community as an evangelism tool,” Crossroads outreach assistant Liz Austin said. “We’d like to get community kids involved but that’s not always the case; some of them come from different churches, but we do appeal to those that are not churched.

“The kids get excited for this camp as soon as we start advertising at the church; every year is like this.”

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. The 13 coaching staff members come from each corner of the globe, with coaches from Brazil, South Africa, England, Northern Ireland and Australia.

“There’s an application process that they have to go through,” Boggs said of his coaching staff. “Ambassadors have offices all around the world and works going on all around the world, so a lot of these coaches have already worked with our offices in places like South Africa and Brazil, so they are already familiar with the work.

“They volunteer their summer to come and do this tour.”