This summer, I traveled with my parents to England. I attended the Arsenal Soccer School for one week while my parents were traveling through Cornwall.
The first day, we flew to London Stansted Airport. The flight took almost two hours from Memmingen in the south of Germany. We rented a car at the airport. The next day, we drove to Southampton to pick up a friend of mine.
The following day, my parents dropped us off at the Arsenal Soccer School, a residential camp located at Sparsholt College near Winchester, which is about half an hour’s drive from Southampton.
There were about 100 kids at the camp, aged between 6 and 17 years. Most were from the UK; a few, however, also came from various European countries. We were grouped into teams of 10 according our age. In the dorms, we had small but nice double rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Each day, we were woken at 7.30am, had a delicious typical English breakfast with bacon, baked beans, toast, and a big selection of cereal.
We had three training sessions per day: from 10.30am to 12pm, from 2-4pm, and from 7-9pm. Besides the drills, we played matches against each other and also against local teams. In our free time in between the trainings, we also played soccer or watched the Olympics on TV.
The highlight was the visit to the Emirates Stadium in London, which is the home stadium of the Arsenal Football Club. Besides seeing the stands and pitch, we also went to the Arsenal locker rooms, where we saw the uniforms of each player hanging neatly side by side, ready for the next match. The stadium media center, where the press conferences are held, and players’ tunnel were also impressive.
After this camp, I went another week to a kids’ summer camp in North Wales. Before leaving for Germany, we visited London, which was still full of tourists, even though the Olympics were already over.
I really enjoyed the nice environment at the camp and made quite a lot of friends. I hope I can go there again sometime.
Patrick is an 11-year-old Grade 6 student at the German Embassy School. Born and raised in Beijing, his interests include soccer, reading, and listening to music. His favorite subjects at school are sports and mathematics. He lives in Beijing with his dad Markus and his mom Janny.
For those who are interested in the Arsenal Soccer Camp, the signup is done online via the camp’s website. The camp is open to all nationalities.