Coco Jarin traveled thousands of miles for football.
Jarin, a coach, is based in California. Last week he trekked to Yorkton. It’s a long journey, one Jarin has made three times in as many years, but the coach thinks it’s well worth his time.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
Jarin, along with five fellow American coaches, led a three-day intensive football camp in Yorkton last weekend. The camp, which lasted from Apr. 27-29, was held at Kiernan Field behind Yorkton Regional High School. The camp attracted nearly 140 young football enthusiasts, ranging from ages 12 to 18.
Jarin and the other coaches ran drills and exercises with the participants, such as throwing, catching, stances, and tackling.
“We teach in progressions,” Jarin said. “When it’s all done they should have a final product.”
Jarin said the camp is designed to give the participants a solid grasp of the game.
“What we’re trying to do is get the kids to understand football [and] give them some solid fundamentals,” he said. “We like to give them a few tools.”
Jarin thinks football provides an excellent platform for molding the next generation.
“Hopefully we have the ingredients to create better versions of young men,” he said. “That’s what this gig is about.
“A lot of the football tools we teach are really life lessons.”
The event, officially known as the Sask Football Camp (SFC), celebrated its third year of existence last week. Jason Farrell, one of the organizers of the camp, said it began after a chance trip to Regina.
Four years ago, Farrell and several parents took their kids to a football camp in the Queen City. At the camp, they spoke with a coach from California, who was intrigued by Yorkton’s commitment to football.
“We talked them into coming up and putting on a boot camp in Yorkton,” Farrell said.
In their first year, the camp attracted 120 kids from around Saskatchewan. The program has only grown since then, bringing in students from Manitoba and Alberta.
“Our relationship just keeps flourishing,” Farrell said. “The day they leave is the day they start looking forward to next year.”
Farrell said the coaches enjoy their stay in Yorkton.
“[They love] the hospitality from the Yorkton community,” he said. [It’s] something they’re not used to.”
In the States, Jarin usually teaches kids who’re very familiar with American-style football. But in Yorkton, the students are more receptive and excited to learn about the game’s intricacies.
“Getting the kids’ attention here is not hard and it’s incredible,” he said. “It’s really refreshing and nourishing for us as coaches to know [that enthusiasm] still exists.”
Several local sponsors supported the camp, including Inner Cycle Spin Studio, Ramsay Health and Fitness, Farrell Agencies, and Windy Acres, among others.