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Brooklyn Youth Summer Soccer Camp Goes Virtual, Brings In Pro Athletes To Offer Advice

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some summer camps for kids are still deciding whether to cancel or open, and if so, how.

One local soccer day camp made the decision to go virtual and connect kids with pro players.

Ten-year-old Landon Olivers would usually be signing up for summer soccer camp in Brooklyn this week, but this year, it was canceled due to COVID-19.

"Very, very disappointed, and I was sad 'cause I spent most of my time playing soccer," Landon told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge.

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One of the camp organizers, Darrius Marcellin, saw how easily kids adapted to school online and decided to offer camp online.

He called on some of his pro-athlete contacts around the world to help coach young players over Zoom, like Katie Zelem, the captain of England's Manchester United women's team.

"I play mid-field, so when we hosted our first webinar, we had a lot of people in there and they were asking specifics, like what I eat before games, leading up to games," Zelem said.

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One hundred kids and teens, ages 6-17, signed up for "ULTRAIN" the first week, including Landon.

"I asked her how can I improve on skills and juggling," Landon said.

Organizers want the platform to be accessible to all kids and teens, so they're waiving fees for families with special circumstances.

"I wish I had something like this when I was growing up," Marcellin said. "We did thousands of drills as players and as athletes, but that one time that professional player came into the session or you met that player, you always remember that moment."

Now Landon is waiting for his moment, when he can get back on the field and show off his new skills.

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