APU Summer Sports Camps - 2007

by Shannon Linton '07

Azusa Pacific University’s summer sports camps came to a successful close this week, having drawn nearly 200 participants from the surrounding areas. The university offered local youth the opportunity to attend football, soccer, and softball camps held on APU's East and West campuses.

Offensive coordinator Josh Darnell and the Cougar football team kicked off the summer’s sports with the annual Football Skills and Character Development Camp, held from June 25-28 in APU's Cougar Stadium. More than 60 fourth to ninth grade students turned out to participate.

Next in the lineup of summer sports was APU’s soccer camp, hosted by head coach Phil Wolf, assistant coach Dave Blomquist, and the nationally ranked Cougar soccer players. The co-ed youth clinics were held on the West Campus soccer fields. The first clinic ran from June 25-28 and had 33 participants.

Thirty-five youth participated in the second soccer clinic, which took place July 9-12. Participants in both camps received a soccer ball and T-shirt.

“Both weeks of camp were excellent. The campers had so much fun, and it is such a positive experience for them,” said assistant soccer coach Dave Blomquist. “They can learn soccer in an environment where they are both encouraged and challenged.”

This was eight-year-old Jonah's second year participating in the soccer camp. Jonah, from La Fetra Elementary, said he enjoyed the games they play and the skills they learn. “This is a great place to come and spend the day having fun,” he said.

The Cougar soccer players are already gearing up for next year’s camps, excited to see more local youth participate.

APU softball players shared the same excitement. Assistant athletic director Sharon Lehman, 2007 alumna Lori Shimasaki, and the Cougar softball players hosted a two-day clinic and four-day camp on the APU softball field on West Campus. The two-day clinic ran from July 5-6. With 23 participants ranging from 6-16 years of age, Lehman said the first clinic was a success. The four-day camp took place July 9-12 and had 32 participants.

“The campers were reminded of or taught the fundamentals of softball, and were also trained on part of the mental side of competing,” said Lehman. “They worked hard, and the overall atmosphere was positive and encouraging.”

Lehman said parents expressed how pleased they were with the entire experience. Both parents and participants said they wanted to come back next summer.

This year’s camps provided quality instruction in a caring, encouraging atmosphere to reflect the heart of the university as APU athletes reached out to local youth, showing them how to compete and play with a positive attitude.