While many organized sporting activities are out of commission during the Covid-19 scare, Huggons High Performance Soccer Camp is still kicking.
“It’s small enough that I don’t come under any of the jurisdictions and BC soccer has no rule over me at all, so I just went for it and the parent are so happy,” lead instructor, Russ Huggon said on Wednesday (March 18).
“I only had two of 18 kids pull out.”
The former pro has a tent and table set up at Samuel Robertson Technical’s outdoor field from March 16 to 20.
To be safe, he is restricting much of the drills to on-ball activity, so the athletes are kept at a safe distance from each other.
“There’s hand sanitizer there and we’re not high touching or high-fiving each other,” he said.
“So far I’ve had a really good response from the parents and the kids.
“I let them know, this isn’t babysitting. it’s high performance and their kids are working hard.”
Huggon wants Maple Ridge to be known as a hub for talented young soccer players.
He spent ten years playing high-level soccer in Scotland, is hoping to bring what he learned to the city he was born and raised in.
When Huggon was a rising talent, he remembered having to travel to Burnaby to fine-tune his game under the tutelage of Slovakian coach, Roman Tulis.
Huggon believes some premium coaching closer to home will result in the sport gaining more traction among young players.
“I know what it takes to succeed,” he said.
“I was one of those kids that would go running hills after school and getting touches on the ball in all night. I remember how much effort it takes to get to the next level.”
Huggon said he learned from some of the best coaches in the world and played with team mates who starred in champions league and world cup games.
Since being back, he has taken to coaching, winning BC Soccer Adult coach of the year for 2015-2016.
“My Port Moody U-21 team went three years undefeated,” he said.
“We were the first youth team to ever win a men’s cup.”
According to Huggon skill-based training is something that has been missing at the local level.
“Athletes now are playing a lot of little games,” he said.
“The coaches think the kids just want to play games and get a couple goals. [With this method] they might get 20 touches in 20 minutes.
“With my training they’re getting a thousand touches in 20 minutes. It’s a recipe that will breed success.”
Huggon High Performance will hold three weeks of camps in July and August this summer and a full time program will follow in September.
For more info see huggonhp.ca