AVA, Mo. – For five days in March, the Douglas County Extension office will be offering the 4-H Soccer Basics Boot Camp SPIN class. Jared Smith will teach the class that will cover fundamental soccer techniques along with general rules and regulations of the sport. Smith, who played soccer at Missouri Southern State University, has a deep love of the sport and enjoys sharing his passion with children.
“I believe it will be a great opportunity for children to learn some basics of soccer which will help them with the upcoming spring city league,” Smith said.
The class is presented through the youth development program with the Douglas County Extension office. In an attempt to reach a broader range and interest of children, Missouri 4-H has created the 4-H special interest project group known as the SPIN Club. A 4-H SPIN club is a special interest club where five or more young people learn about a project of interest. Topics vary anywhere from nature, heritage arts, science, engineering, sports and activities, and a variety of other interests children might have.
SPIN Clubs are led by recognized volunteers and may include episodic volunteers who are content area experts and have a passion and want to share their knowledge with young people. Such is the case with Smith who just wants to help young people better understand soccer and hopefully gain at least an appreciation for the sport.
“I think SPIN Clubs are a wonderful opportunity for 4-H to grow in different ways as well as tap into special interests young people might have,” state Douglas County Youth Development Specialist Dr. Krista Tate. “This is an experiment we are trying in Ava and hopefully the idea of SPIN Clubs will catch on.”
Just like with the traditional 4-H community club, volunteers are key to club success. Volunteers for SPIN Clubs must go through the same background check and training as the traditional 4-H club volunteer. The only difference is a SPIN Club volunteer only focuses on one particular project.
“We are always interested in gaining volunteers for our youth programs,” Tate stated. “Without the willingness of volunteers we would have no programs.”
Any adult who has an interest they are willing to share with local children are encouraged to contact the Douglas County Extension office to see if their interest would be a fit for the youth in the area. In addition to the soccer SPIN club, in the near future the Extension office is also planning a SPIN class on horses to be taught by the new Douglas County Livestock Specialist Elizabeth Picking.
The 4-H Soccer Basics Boot Camp will be held at the Ava City Park on March 5, 6, 8, 12, and 13 from 4:30-5:30. The cost of the class is $25. Once a youth pays and participates in one SPIN class they will not have to pay again if another SPIN class of interest is offered. Parents may sign up through the Douglas County Extension office. For questions about SPIN clubs or the 4-H Soccer Basics Boot Camp, contact the Douglas County Extension office at 417-683-4409.