Dutch Soccer Club to Train Kids Outside Moscow
- By Alec Luhn
- Dec. 17 2012 00:00
- Last edited 19:15
TheáDutch team Ajax ináJune will open Russia's first children's football camp run byáa foreign club, organizers said atáa news conference Friday.
Theácamp, ináthe Moscow region city ofáIstra, will be theáfirst step toward creation of aálarger youth soccer training program, said Tom Sauer, director ofáthe Ajax Football Academy ináRussia andáthe CIS. Theáacademy plans toáopen camps ináother cities, andáin 2015 aátraining facility will be set up ináa city that has yet toábe determined.
"The main idea is toágive children fun playing ináthe way Ajax plays," Sauer said.
Tom Sauer is theáson ofáDerk Sauer, president ofáthe media group RBC andáchairman ofáthe supervisory board ofáSanoma Independent Media, which owns TheáMoscow Times. TheáSauers' Korsa Media signed aácontract with Ajax toárun theáacademy, Tom Sauer said.
Starting ináJune, six groups ofá90 toá100 boys ages 9 toá14 will spend aáweek each atáthe Istra camp training twice aáday with Ajax coaches andáenjoying other activities such as table tennis and video game tournaments.
Theácamps represent theácommercial side ofáthe project, while theátraining facility will be aimed atádeveloping talented young players, Sauer said.
Tuition foráthe weeklong camp is 38,000 rubles ($1,200), but 30 percent ofáparticipants will attend onáscholarship. Organizers are drumming up sponsors toáfund theáscholarships.
TheáDutch football club sees theáproject ináRussia as aáway toádevelop its brand presence, Ajax commercial director Henri van der Aat said. Theácamp will spread theágospel ofáAjax's style ofá"attractive, attacking football," he added.
Van der Aat also said theámarket foráyouth soccer training ináRussia is poised toágrow.
"You will see more football camps andálater more football academies evolving here because there's aábig market foráit," he said.