By Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation
With any luck, the temperature will drop, and kids will be back on the soccer pitch soon. The Moorestown Parks and Recreation Department will hold soccer clinics and have league play for boys and girls starting in September. All programs will adhere to COVID-19 Safety Standard Guidelines.
For the first time, Three Lions Soccer Academy will be involved with team practices to help coaches with drills and player development. Three Lions Academy will also be running two clinics during the week — one for ages for to six (pre-K and kindergarten) and one for first and second graders. New this year is a mini summer camp the last week of August. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn the fundamentals.
Three Lions Academy was founded by Paul Wimbleton, who is from England and played professionally in Europe, South Africa, Hong Kong and China, for 22 years. Wimbleton has been teaching players and training his staff for 25 years in New Jersey, and they have produced hundreds of top-level college players.
Wimbleton is very cognizant of how important the experience is for very young players.
“The Rec. is such a great place to start,” Wimbleton said. “The Rec. program should be the launch of, ‘Oh, I love this game, this is fun’, so they keep showing up and then work on building the skills. It’s the start of everything.”
Wimbleton says soccer can teach the game can teach valuable life skills.
“It’s nice to win but sometimes it’s really good to lose because that’s good for you too,” he said. “It encourages you to become more resilient.”
Three Lions Academy’s role will elevate the soccer experience for the children and adults. Leagues are forming now for pre-k through sixth grade. Pre-K and kindergarten training and scrimmages will be on Saturdays at Wesley Bishop Turf.
For grades one to six, there will be a weeknight practice, and matches will be played on Saturdays at either Wesley Bishop or Jeff Young Parks. The number of participants will determine size of the leagues, and team size will be kept small to ensure maximum individual game time.
This promises to be a great season.
“While they’re there they should have the most fun that they can possibly have, and we should be giving them the best experience they can have,” Wimbleton said. “It’s about cheering them on and positive reinforcement.”
Please visit www.moorestownrec.com to register and for full details.