Young athletes ages 5 to 18 have had a soccer ball near their cleated-feet for three hours every morning this week, participating in drills and scrimmages led by a pack of local and visiting coaches. Denver-area based United Soccer Coaches Program Director Marly Wilson has helped bring in three English-born soccer coaches to help lead the camp. Three local coaches, Dave DelCarlo, Heather Barber and Cameron McCloud, also supplemented the Telluride Soccer Camp coaching staff.
Adam VanDerven, director of the Telluride Soccer Club and Telluride Soccer Camp organizer, says turnout for the twice-yearly camp has been outstanding this week, which marks the final soccer camp of the summer.
"The numbers have been phenomenal," VanDerven says, although he admits that a bit of a headache emerged when nearly twice as many players came on the first day as were originally expected. But following Monday's first-day registration bumps, the camp has been nothing but smooth sailing throughout the week. Camp ends today, culminating in a final, "World Cup" tournament followed by an awards ceremony for all participants.
VanDerven, who took the helm as Director of the Telluride Soccer Club last spring, grew up in Texas where he played for the Texas Longhorns Youth Soccer Club and Plano Senior High School. He has earned several league, tournament, state, and regional championships and has traveled to Brazil and the United Kingdom to play. VanDerven has been coaching youth soccer for the past five years in San Francisco and Telluride.
To get the third annual Telluride Soccer Camp off the ground, VanDerven enlisted the help of the Denver area United Soccer Coaches program, an organization that brings in soccer coaches from around the world to help coach soccer camps in the United States.
VanDerven reports that feedback about the camp and its staff of highly trained coaches has been glowing.
"The kids have been having a lot of fun, and to me, that's the most important thing," he says. "If kids aren't having fun and enjoying the game of soccer at ages 5 and 6, they won't be playing soccer by the time they reach 15 or 16."
VanDerven has been a part of the Telluride High School coaching staff for the last few years, and urged all of his high school boys team players to enroll in the camp this summer. With the high school boys season revving up in just under one month, VanDerven says the high school soccer season is already shaping up to be a great one.
He also adds that it has been refreshing working with some of Telluride's younger local soccer players during the soccer camp, and he hopes that he will see many of them come up through the Telluride Soccer Club teams as they get older.
Registration for the Telluride Soccer Club's fall season has already begun; visit www.telluridesoccer.com to download a registration form. For kids younger than fourth grade, visit or call the Telluride Parks and Recreation Department to receive a Parks and Rec. youth fall soccer program registration form.