Sports

Dutch Soccer Academy provides athletic outlet for kids

Youngsters from kindergarten to eighth grade were able to enjoy a bit of athletic excitement as the Dutch Soccer Academy wrapped up a week-long clinic in several towns across The County, including Fort Kent and Van Buren.

Held in Houlton’s Community Park July 13-17, a group of about 30 children sharpened their soccer skills under the direction of Robbie Krul, founder of the DSA and also enjoyed some outdoors activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DSA is a Maine-based company with more than 20 years of experience in developing players and building successful soccer programs.

“We focus on technical skills and techniques of passing and working together on the field in a fun way,” Krul said.

Robbie Krul of the Dutch Soccer Academy speaks to players during the final day of a week-long soccer clinic in Houlton July 17. Similar clinics were held in Fort Kent, Caribou, Easton and Van Buren. Staff Photo/Joseph Cyr

A native of Holland, Krul founded DSA in 1997. The program is run with the assistance of his wife Tammy, a Caribou native, and is based out of Warren. The two met as soccer players at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and initially began DSA in Caribou.

In previous years, the DSA has brought overnight soccer camps to The County with middle and high school-aged students able to camp out in Presque Isle.

But with the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, the summer programs had to be modified. Gone were their overnight camps, but thankfully the group has been able to continue daytime soccer skills camps.

“We had to remind them [the participants] a little bit about the social distancing because the games can get pretty intense,” Krul said. “The kids make it so fun, so that keeps it fresh. I had to find a way to make it fun to increase interest.”

Krul spent several weeks in Aroostook County, holding similar clinics at Easton, Caribou, Van Buren and Fort Kent.

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