10 Years of the Trust: The soccer camp Swans
As part of our ’10 Years of the Community Trust’ campaign, which is celebrating the successes our official charity has achieved over the years, we are sharing stories and exclusive interviews from the heart of our local communities.
Here we focus on two young Swans who once attended Trust soccer camps, Keston Davies and Aaron Lewis.
Before starring in Premier League 2, Swans Under-23 defenders Keston Davies and Aaron Lewis both spent time in the Swansea City Community Trust’s soccer camps.
Davies regularly spent his summer holidays at the soccer camps in Swansea before catching the eye of the Swansea City Academy at the age of eight.
“The sessions were great in the summer holidays, I used to go there when my parents went to work. I loved playing football so I really enjoyed it,” said Davies.
“Myself and my cousins lived in different places across Swansea, so the Community Trust’s football sessions were a great opportunity for us to meet up. We used to spend the majority of our summer holidays in the camps.”
The sessions proved to be the first step on Davies’s route to becoming a professional footballer.
“I started playing football for fun through the Trust and really enjoyed it so went to play for my school team before playing for my local team and it just went from there,” he recalled.
“Even when I joined the Swans I continued to go to the Community Trust’s sessions as I enjoyed them so much.”
Lewis notes that the Community Trust’s football sessions provided the perfect environment for youngsters to get involved in football.
“The sessions I used to go to through the Community Trust were a fun way of ensuring young players enjoyed football and treated it as a hobby,” he said.
“The Trust cater to all skill levels, so the sessions allow young players to just go and enjoy themselves.”
Providing opportunities for children of all ages, the soccer camps gave – and continue to give – youngsters the chance to test themselves against older players.
“I was playing against boys who were maybe three or four years older than me because players of all ages just mixed in. It was good from a footballing perspective that I was able to test myself against older players and could play against players my own age too,” added Davies.
“The camps provided a balance of different styles of players, players who had never played football before and some who played regularly.
“They’re beneficial because they used to keep me out of the house and if I didn’t go there I would have probably just been at home on the Playstation.”
Davies and Lewis were coached at the Community Trust’s sessions by current Swans kitman Michael Eames, who worked as a coach with the Community Trust.
“It was good to work with Mike and we still joke about it now, because if I lost a game I used to go and sit on the side and not speak to anyone for 10 minutes,” laughed Davies.
The Community Trust still run regular soccer camps throughout South Wales in school holidays and they remain a hit with budding footballers.
“I think the Community Trust is massive for both the club and the local community,” Davies said.
“It gives everybody the opportunity to play football, young players can go to the sessions to train and play whenever they want. If they continue on that path as they get older, the Academy might pick some of those players up.”
Lewis said: “It has the ability to attract more young players as it’s linked to the Swans badge.
“I think the Community Trust gives a good platform for young people who want to get into football and provides a link between the players and the fans.”
The Community Trust’s soccer camps are back this Whitsun at venues across South West Wales. Open to boys and girls of all abilities between the ages of five and 12, the camps will allow young players to develop their skills for just £15 a day. You can now book a space online HERE.
Look out for more success stories and exclusive interviews in the run-up to the Community Trust’s 10th Anniversary in November.