Representatives of an English Premier League team will be in Camden on Monday as the Liverpool Football Club’s foundation hosts a free soccer clinic at Camden High School.
The clinic is open to Camden kids ages 4 to 14, said Gerald van Wilgen, president of the Camden Youth Soccer Club.
“The foundation is aiming their work at ‘deprived areas,’ so to speak, and they’ve been looking online and they found some areas they wanted to work in, and Camden was one of them,” said van Wilgen. “And we said, ‘Yes of course,’ because you don’t get phone calls like that every day. Usually you have to beg people to help.”
Not familiar with the English Premier League? Van Wilgen said Liverpool FC is a big deal, akin to “the Boston Red Sox or the Yankees. It’s a big team.”
While none of the team’s stars will be running the clinic, the club is eagerly awaiting the clinic.
In the poverty and crime-stricken city, van Wilgen said playing soccer offers Camden kids the chance to get some exercise, learn skills and have some fun.
“We just play soccer, we really don’t get into their home situation or whatever that may be,” he said. “We’re trying to keep that separate, because we just want them to forget about everything else and let them have some fun on the field.”
Kids can register to attend the clinic through the Camden Youth Soccer Club’s website.