Football camps to be held at Lacombe athletic park

The Lacombe Athletic Park Association is celebrating another big win for its newly opened project.

The University of Calgary and the association announced recently a three-year agreement that they will see the two groups host a pair of minor football development camps every summer at the MEGlobal Athletic Park in Lacombe, starting this June.

“We’re very excited to partner with Lacombe to promote and foster the development of football players in Central Alberta,” said University of Calgary Dinos Head Coach Blake Nill.

“This province produces some of the best players in the country, and we’re honoured to be a part of the football community in Alberta. MEGlobal Athletic Park is an outstanding facility and with the field turf on its way, this will be a first-class venue for years to come and we see a great opportunity to build and ensure this is a high end camp.”

The camps, which will run on consecutive weekends starting in mid-June, will give high school and local minor football players the chance to develop and learn new skills under the watchful eye of Dinos’ coaches and players, give players the chance to see how the game operates at the university level and athletes may even get the chance to meet some professional players, as fullback Graeme Bell, who was recently traded from the Edmonton Eskimos to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, is scheduled to make an appearance at the camps.

It will include a complete football program, including both on and off field development, non-football activities, a meal program, and parents will also get the chance to take in an information session that will give them a better idea of university acceptance strategies.

Local coaches will also be given the chance to hone their skills, as some will be allowed to take part in running the camps.

“Our local kids and coaches usually have to travel to Edmonton or Calgary or further to get this type of experience,” said Wayne Gustafson, who represents minor football on the Lacombe Athletic Park Association board of directors.

“Now, it will be right in our backyard and all of Central Alberta minor football will benefit.”

The park, which will serve as the home this year of the Central Alberta Buccaneers of the Alberta Football League (formerly the Red Deer Buccaneers) and successfully hosted the Canadian Major Football League championship last fall, firmly believes camps like this will do nothing but attract more events to the premier athletic facility.

“MEGlobal Athletic Park will continue to be a facility to host a diverse number of events such as this,” said Darren Gagnon, who chairs the marketing and fund-raising committee for the association.

“We will work with the Dinos to ensure this becomes a top rated event. The location of our facility, with the field-house and lights, allows us to draw groups from all over Alberta. Once we have the field turf and running track installed in the fall, we can look forward to hosting events even greater than these camps. Perhaps you will soon see a Dinos game played at MEGlobal Athletic Park.”

The first camp will be or high school players and will run June 17 through the 19, with another camp for Atom, Pee-Wee, and Bantam age players to be held June 24-26.

To register for the camp, go to www.lacombeathleticpark.ca or www.godinos.com/football and print off a camp registration form.

Registration will be limited to ensure their is a proper coach to player ratio at the camps.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

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