| Aug 14, 2008

Feature Article - August 14, 2008

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Feature Article - August 14, 2008 Sydenham’s Golden Eagles football camp hits the fieldBy Julie Druker

There is a football camp, alive and well and practicing in Sydenham. It began on Monday of this week at McClellan Park at the Point and lasts for one week only. Close to 100 campers from various elementary schools in the area, together with 15 counsellors and volunteer coaches, participate in the program.

Begun by Jimmy Latimer, Phys. Ed. teacher and coach of the Junior Football Team at Sydenham High School, the Golden Eagles Football Camp is in its fourth year of operation.

The goal according to Latimer is “to get kids at a younger age playing football. And to prepare them for the minor, junior and senior football leagues at Sydenham High School.”

Latimer advertised the camp by putting out flyers to all of the feeder schools in the area including Hinchinbrooke, Harrowsmith, Perth Road, St.Patrick’s, Loughborough and Elginburg

Guest speakers at camp this year included: Gord McLellan, a former football coach at SHS and Queen’s University, and after whom the Sydenham field is named; Mike Love, the senior coach at SHS; and Mark O’Grady, the new head coach at Queen Elizabeth in Kingston.

Each day campers take to the field and learn the fundamentals of offensive and defensive play. Their day also includes weight training in the Sydenham gym as well as swimming at the point and pizza lunches.

The camp runs from Monday through Thursday and costs $135 for the week.

The fees collected go directly towards the purchasing and maintaining of equipment used for the camp and the school’s football program, as well as providing scholarships to campers who might not otherwise be able to afford the fee.

The camp also inspired the Golden Eagles Football League, a minor touch league, that the campers can participate in from April until June.

The league consists of four teams: The Orange Crush, Purple Reign, Red Cross and the Black Plague. The teams practice twice a week and play one game per week.

Highlights for the campers are daily games of touch football, where the campers play the counsellors every day at lunchtime.

Thanks to Latimer, and the volunteer coaches, local kids are getting a chance to get out and enjoy themselves while honing their football skills in preparation for their future participation in the game.

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