About 100 young athletes from the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association got the jump on the 2014 season Sunday during a special pre-season skills camp at Belmont secondary.
Players were put through their paces by members of the UBC Thunderbirds coaching staff, who also put on a clinic for local minor football coaches on Saturday.
Also there to offer encouraging words and inspiration was Hamilton Tiger-Cats centre, Tim O’Neill. He started his football career as a youth player with the Westshore Warriors (known then as the Colwood Warriors) before playing for the Belmont Bulldogs and later the University of Calgary Dinos.
Players from all five Greater Victoria clubs – Sooke Seahawks, Gordon Head Raiders, Saanich Wolverines, Peninsula Wildcats and WestShore Warriors – were put through myriad drills and mini-games to hone their skills and prepare for the upcoming spring football season.
Thunderbirds head coach, Shawn Olsen, ensured that the pace of activities was kept fast and fun for all.
At the closing ceremony, Kalen Jules, Daunte Nelson, Hunter Bowles and Jaden Martinez, all from the Warriors, were singled out by the UBC coaching staff for outstanding achievement awards.
A month of practices in March will culminate with a league wide jamboree, March 29 starting at around from 9 a.m. at Esquimalt’s Bullen Park.
Teams from north of the Malahat will join Greater Victoria teams for a day of fast-paced mini games as the final tuneup for the start of the regular season in April.
There is still time for interested boys and girls between the ages of eight and 14 to sign up for their local clubs.
Information can be found at www.victoriafootball.ca.