Pro Soccer Player Holds Clinic In Columbia

Even after the U.S. lost in the World Cup, soccer fever still hasn't peaked. An international soccer star came to Columbia to help some young players improve their game.

12-year-old Kyle Dudley has been playing soccer for six years and knows the opportunity to play with a soccer star is a rare occurrence.

"It's a privilege to play and get instructed by a pro player because not everybody gets to do that," Kyle said.

Lawrence Olum plays for both Sporting Kansas City and Kenya's Men's National Team.

He was asked to participate in a clinic from a childhood friend from his hometown of Nairobi.

"Having kids who actually want to play the sport that I love, I enjoy. It's a good thing, it makes sure that the sport grows and it never stops, you know? Other generations are coming in and they get to enjoy the game, too," Olum said.

15-year-old Walker Lahaise came to the camp to become a better defender, even though he's been playing the game since he was three.

"I feel I can learn a lot more because I haven't been playing club that long so I feel like I can get a lot better," Walker said.

Larissa Heslop, who's fairly new to the game and is one of few girls in the clinic, has actually seen Olum in action when Kansas City was playing for the Major League Soccer cup.

She's looking forward to a new perspective.

"It's nice just because someone else sees your skill set and it's always good to get another opinion to help you and view your game in a different way," Larissa said.

Olum spent Sunday evening challenging the players in a series of drills and has this to say for younger soccer players who are looking to go pro.

"At the end of the day you just have to want to play. The more you keep playing, the better you get. Regardless of what level you are," Olum said.

The camp goes until tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Owens Field Park. For more information you can email Coach David Kenga at or call 803-404-9361.


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