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CLRA, Columbus United announce new opportunities for soccer players


From Special Reports



As part of the Presidents Cup 2014 Challenge, Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority (CLRA) and the Columbus United Soccer Club have overhauled the summer player development opportunities for soccer players in the area. 


"Coaches said we needed new and more variety camps and training options for summer," Columbus United Soccer Club Director of Coaching Tom Velek said. "We started from scratch and re-thought everything offered. The result is a varied and dynamic set of summer offerings for individuals and teams." 


The Mississippi Soccer Association will bring its Academy Camp to Columbus in July. It is the first time the Academy Camp has been offered outside of the Jackson area. The camp will be directed by Dr. Terry Eguaoje, the MSA state technical director of coaching and player development. Eguaoje holds a USSF National "A" Coaching License, NSCAA Premier Diploma, U.S. Youth Soccer National Youth License, and a NSCAA National Youth Coaching License. He will be assisted by other MSA national level or Olympic Development coaches. The camp is open to all players in the area. 


The Academy Camp will offer two sessions. The first for players 4 to 8 years old will be from 9-10 a.m. July 22-26 at the CLRA Soccer Complex. The registration fee is $80. The MSA Advanced State Academy Soccer Camp for players 9-14 years old will be July 22-26 from 1-2.30 pm at the CLRA Soccer Complex. The registration fee for the advanced camp is $110. 


CLRA also is pleased to offer for the first time the "Speed, Power, and Agility Camp." The camp is developed for offseason soccer players to improve strength, agility, and speed. In addition to increased acceleration, speed, power and agility, the training helps athletes avoid injury. The camp is open to players ages 12 and up. It will be July 15, July 17, and July 19 with two sessions each day. The first session will run from 9-10 a.m. The afternoon session will be from 1.30-2.30 p.m. The registration fee is $60 per participant for all six sessions. 


The Speed, Power & Agility Camp will be conducted by Jarwarski Beckum, a Mississippi State University graduate who works as a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Alabama. He is also a SPARQ Training certified coach. 


"We are excited to be able to offer this camp," CLRA program director Greg Lewis said. "Spaces will be limited to 20 players, so this will fill up fast." 


To register for the MSA Academy Camp and/or the Speed and Agility camp, go to and click on "Athletics" and then "Soccer." Registration forms also can be picked up at the Propst Park office. Registration ends July 15, but spaces are limited and once full the camps won't be able to accept additional players. 


Columbus United has expanded its team camp offerings for the summer. 


Team camps will be offered for United 10 boys, Under-12 girls, U-13 boys, U-14/15 boys, and U-16/17 boys. Team camps are open only to players who have played with United or intend to play with United during the 2013-2014 season. 


"It is critical at this level that players train together as a team over the summer," Velek said. "Soccer is the ultimate team sport. The MSA Academy camp works with individual player skills, the speed camp helps to develop athletic ability, and the team camps trains players to bring this all together and work as a team." 


The U-10 boys team camp will be July 5-9. The U-12 Girls team camp will be July 15-19. The U-13, U-14/15, and U-16/U17 boys camps will be the week of July 22-26. 


For more information on team camps, contact Velek at [email protected].edu or 245-1032. The deadline for registration for all team camps is June 28. 


For more information on CLRA Soccer Program and Columbus United Soccer Club, go to You also can find Columbus United on Facebook.



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