Tips to help your players get back on the field safely (8/10/2020) - Helpful tips as fall sports get back up and running!
Why Training At Home is here to stay (9/21/2020) - Here at Challenger Virtual we have been learning a great deal about the new online training market whose emergence has accelerated in the last 6 months. We have seen that in some situations this is seen as complementary to physical in person training, whilst in others it is being used as an alternative. We found time to put together 10 reasons why we believe Training At Home is here to stay. We hope that this helps everyone continue to understand technology’s place in the youth sports environment long-term. Oh, and we make no apologies for the shameless plug whilst doing ... Read More
Five things to consider before your teams first training! (7/29/2020) - Depending on where you are in the country, youth sports are potentially starting again and if they aren’t starting for you yet, I think we can all agree they will be back. As coaches and program directors, we need to understand what players have gone through. Many kids have had no social interaction, they are probably feeling anxious or confused about what is going on and most have had no real exercise except from maybe joining Mom or Dad in their morning virtual “fitness” class. Therefore, we need to make sure youth sports are a fun and safe place for ... Read More
Challenger Sports pivots to a new Virtual Coaching Experience (5/18/2020) - It has been virtually impossible to ignore the ever changing landscape in youth soccer over recent months. As the shutdown of the youth soccer world went into effect mid March, along with the rest of the global economy, it has cancelled an entire Spring season, brought youth clubs to their financial knees, made numerous youth soccer coaches unemployed and held kids indoors with no games or training to look forward to for the foreseeable future. Challenger Sports as the leaders in the soccer camp market in North America, have felt the pain also. Our usual running of Spring seasons nationwide via ... Read More
COVID-19 Update (3/12/2020) - 1. Current Company Response Like most companies we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation. As always, the safety of our participants and our staff is our number one priority. In an industry where our camps, clinics, tours, and tournaments happen in a close community, Challenger Sports and our sister company Challenger Teamwear have always taken great care to develop and maintain medical practices to address a variety of communicable diseases, both common and rare. This page will be used to provide updated information on how the current global pandemic is affecting our usual programming and services. We will update ... Read More
Challenger Hall of Fame (6/2/2020) - Challenger Family, Earlier in the year, CEO Paul Lawrence and our Senior Management Team discussed the idea of Challenger Sports having its own Hall of Fame. We want to create a “where are they now” story for each great employee we have had during our 30 years of business. For example, we have ex-coaches who are managers at professional clubs, coaches that are managing national teams at all levels, coaches who are now CEOs in hugely successful companies, amongst many many many other things. What we would like you to do is have you open your little black books and ... Read More
How to be an Engaged Coach (2/4/2020) - No player wants this kind of coach… and they surely don’t want this kind either… By no means is coaching an easy role to fill. There are many qualities that make a coach effective and memorable, and without a doubt the greats have one thing in common… They are engaged. They can turn it on when needed because they care. They care about the job, the sport and the players. Remaining engaged in any practice, game, or event reflects in both your and your team’s enjoyment and performance. Getting into a state of mindful coaching takes effort, but it is ... Read More
Challenger Sports Joins Forces with Fusionetics (1/29/2020) - Challenger Sports have today announced their partnership with movement assessment and personalized performance platform, Fusionetics. Fusionetics is used by over 600 professional, collegiate or youth clubs/teams to evaluate athlete performance, while significantly reducing their risk of injury. Created by pro athletic trainers and experts in movement science, Fusionetics uses 2D motion capture and AI technology to precisely assess how well each athlete moves in minutes. A detailed movement efficiency score and personalized corrective program are then sent to the users phone, tablet, and/or computer, providing access to their program anytime, anywhere. Additional features of Fusionetics allow users to maintain and ... Read More
Challenger Sports Partners with Post To Post (1/23/2020) - Challenger Sports are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Post To Post Soccer Pathways. The partnership will see Challenger Sports’ SoccerPlus camp combine with Post To Post Soccer Pathways, combining the respective experience of the two organizations, and enhancing the most important aspects of soccer; scoring and saving goals. The foundations of this partnership are built on the success of the camps to-date, and together, the camps now provide a complete range of coaching and player development focused on specialized positions, inclusive to athletes aged 8 to 19 years of age. Alan Jones, Chief Operations Officer for Challenger Sports ... Read More
5 Questions to Help Set and Keep Any Athletic Goal (1/21/2020) - February is around the corner… which means it’s been a whole 3 weeks of the “new year, new me” mantra playing on repeat in our heads. It also means that the time is nearly upon us when most resolution-ers have packed up shop, retreating back into the all too familiar “new year, new me” remorse. One clinical psychologist study suggests that by the second week in February, nearly eighty percent of resolution journeys have been cut short (1). As athletes, we set the expectation bar high, often consumed by the daily grind and finding discouragement in the little blunders that ... Read More
5 Influential African American Soccer Players – Celebrating MLK Day (1/20/2020) - Freddy Edu Although Freddy Adu didn’t help the United States win a World Cup like many anticipated he would, he, without a doubt, made a substantial difference in American soccer and proved to all players in North America that anything is possible. Freddy’s ability to surpass the traditional path to the professional level was unheard of in America. Most sports in the US include high school and or college before you get to the professional level, but Edu was ahead of his time. At the age of 14, Freddy signed his first professional contract with DC United, becoming the youngest ... Read More
Welcome to the ’20s! (1/19/2020) - 2020 Highlights 2020… a year of promise, bright outlooks and total transformation! There is a lot to look forward to in the next twelve months for our Challenger family as we anticipate another decade of sparking joy through the powerful forces of fun and passion in youth sports. With the kickoff of our 2019 brand refresh, our four divisions, Camps, Teamwear, Academy and Virtual, now lie under one unified Challenger Sports umbrella. Each sector, with its own unique features, will continue to act as figureheads in the overarching realm of sports. Read ahead for all the exciting divisional highlights to ... Read More
GK ICON Sells Franchising Business To Founder Richard Lee (1/17/2020) - After acquiring GK ICON and its 10 franchises 5 years ago from founder Richard Lee, Challenger Sports has developed the brand into the largest goalkeeping coaching company in the world. With GK ICON franchises and merchandise expanding in 2020, Challenger Sports has agreed to sell the franchise business back to Richard Lee. With this restructure, Challenger Sports strives to continue helping grow all areas of the GK ICON brand and Richard, who has always retained a consultancy role, will now take ownership of franchising while using his team of experts to continue moving the business forward. Challenger Sports will still ... Read More
Challenger Sports Launch Team Management Solution, TopYa! Teams (1/15/2020) - Challenger Sports, the largest soccer education and apparel provider in the US and Canada, announced today that it will launch a complete team management solution, TopYa! Teams, in early 2020. Since its merger with Denver technology company, TopYa!, in 2019 the youth sports organization has gone from strength to strength, engaging players and coaches around the world. TopYa! Teams marks the first in a range of technology products and services from Challenger Sports, which will provide organizations, clubs and coaches with the ultimate 360° approach to youth sports and club management. New Decade; New Year; New App Challenger Sports’ complete ... Read More
Challenger Sports Launches 2020 Camps (1/15/2020) - For over 30 years, Challenger Sports have been delivering exceptional soccer summer camps across North America. We have earned our status as the leading game changers in sports youth education, and our reputation as North America’s leading soccer camp company remains as strong as ever. This year we are proud to launch our suite of summer soccer camps, tailored to suit the player’s needs and match their level of engagement and skill. With innovative delivery using our interactive app technology, we are able to support budding soccer enthusiasts and players with their training and coaching all year round – both ... Read More
GK ICON Acquires Popular Glove Brand (1/13/2020) - GK ICON, Challenger Sports’ subsidiary goalkeeper brand, is excited to announce the acquisition of CALMA. CALMA is a globally recognized premium goalkeeper brand that is vastly respected within the goalkeeper community. With this acquisition becoming final, we are excited to offer both product lines globally via our GK Icon website and Challenger Teamwear site. Chris Sharman, Chief Brand Officer and Global Development Director for Challenger Sports commented: “This is an exciting acquisition for GK ICON and I would like to thank George Tapsell for his work in making this merger possible. What he has done with CALMA is outstanding and ... Read More
Best Christmas Gifts for Soccer Lovers (12/18/2019) - Considering what to get a soccer player for Christmas? Here at Challenger Sports we love to make your seasonal shopping that little bit easier. With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve hand-picked a fantastic selection of gifts and present ideas set to delight any soccer player or fan. So, if you’re looking to kit out your soccer lover with new soccer attire or apparel, or you’re looking for the best training solution to help advance their game, we have you covered. To make this even easier for those last-minute purchases, we’ve split out our top picks by categories with options ... Read More
Challenger World Tours Review 2019 (12/16/2019) - What a year to review for Challenger Sports World Tours! 650 international travellers, 24 teams and 9 countries later; 2019 has undeniably been one for the books. Eight groups kicked off their summer season in the best way possible, at the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a side of French baguettes and fine cheese. Venues throughout France played host to the most renowned faces in soccer history, and sitting-sideline were 175 World Tour players, coaches and families with Challenger World Tours. In addition to their World Cup extravaganza, some groups combined their trip to France with additional trips to the ... Read More
All-Encompassing Global Sports Business Announces Rebrand (12/3/2019) - Challenger Sports, the largest soccer camps provider in North America and Canada, is widely recognized for supplying over 30 years of coaching experience to young people across the United States. Challenger Sports runs soccer camps, clinics, tournaments, tours and provides uniforms to tens of thousands of organizations and hundreds of thousands of players, with a strong presence in the USA, Canada, Brazil, India and throughout the UK. Since 2019, after its merger with Denver-based technology company TopYa!, the organization has become a SaaS (Software as a Service) business, entering a new stage of its evolution. Today, Challenger Sports announces a ... Read More
Soccerex 2019: Soccer Brands Descend on Miami (11/28/2019) - Challenger Sports were in good company last week, as some of the biggest brands and professional organizations in the sector came together at Soccerex USA 2019, which took place in Miami – November 21st – 22nd. The elite-level industry convention saw over 1,500 soccer executives and delegates meet at the Turnberry Resort in Aventura, with the likes of CONCACAF, LaLiga, MLS, US Soccer, and Inter Miami in attendance. The conference included over 90 speakers, from Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas, CONCACAF general secretary Philippe Moggio, and Amanda Duffy, the president of the National Women’s ... Read More
Black Friday Deals 2019 (11/27/2019) - This Black Friday we have a number of fantastic offers, certain to excite all soccer lovers. From stylish apparel, to apparatus to aid your skills training, to issues of Keepers’ Union Magazine packed with insightful articles and advice. Check out some of our personal highlights we’ve picked out for you! TinyTykes Sale Teamwear Sale Keepers’ Union Magazine Urban Football Flick TinyTykes Sale We’re releasing a limited time 10% offer on all our current and exclusive TinyTykes merchandise. Not only that, we’re offering you free shipping on all TinyTykes discounted purchases. Don’t forget to use the code TYKESBF2019. (Code valid til ... Read More
Liverpool FC and Challenger Sports Extend Partnership (11/17/2019) - Liverpool FC and Challenger Sports have agreed a new long-term partnership which will see the delivery of residential soccer school courses continue in the UK. The agreement follows two successful years of LFC and Challenger Sports delivering the LFC International Academy residential courses. Taking place each summer, the program continues to grow in popularity and has attracted participants from around the world. This year saw the biggest course to date with players from 50 countries visiting the UK to attend. In addition to the hugely popular Football Focus coaching experience and the English Language courses, which teach young learners how ... Read More
Challenger Sports at Red Bull Street Style World Final 2019 (11/16/2019) - The Red Bull Street Style World Final, the official World Championship of Freestyle Football, debuted in North America this week, Friday 15th November. With over a decade of championship events spanning Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, the grand finale of the world’s most important freestyle football competition turned up the heat in Miami, Florida, USA. Eight women and more than 45 men brought their most innovative new tricks to the buzzing Wynwood Arts District. Athletes from over 50 countries descend on Miami to battle one-on-one for bragging rights as the planet’s best freestyle football player and official World Champion. ... Read More
Challenger Sports Named Official Technology Partners of World Street FC (11/15/2019) - The World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA), the governing body for the sport of freestyle football, continues to drive its ambitions of growing awareness and participation on a global scale. Through the work of World Street FC (WSFC), the WFFA membership arm, engagement with freestyle football has increased dramatically with the likes of World Street events and, now thanks to Challenger Sports, propelling freestyle football into the digital arena. Challenger Sports are thrilled to be on-board as Official Technology Partners with WSFC, furthering engagement through the powerful membership program and providing unparalleled virtual coaching and a community-focused platform for WSFC members. ... Read More
Welcome to Miami: Challenger Sports at Soccerex 2019 (11/7/2019) - Challenger Sports are thrilled to announce their partnership renewal with Soccerex, the world’s leading professional soccer networking and business event, a timely announcement to coincide with the Soccerex USA Conference, held in Miami 21-22 November. Andy Bennett, Chief Commercial Officer for Challenger Sports commented: “It is fantastic to be collaborating with Soccerex once again. Soccerex and Challenger Sports are well-matched as partner organizations, both focused on growing soccer on a global scale. Soccerex brings together global soccer industry experts under one roof, providing a unique commercial environment to share knowledge and best practice, gain valuable insights, and ultimately innovate for ... Read More
Choosing the Best Soccer Camp (3/6/2019) - In addition to helping develop your child’s skills and understanding of the game, summer camps are extremely valuable for young players to develop socially. Children have to learn how to separate from their families and become resilient and independent learners. Attending a summer soccer camp gives them a safe way to take safe first steps towards this goal. Whether it is a day camp or a residential camp, the experience broadens your child’s life experiences and often taps resources they have never had to call on before. Camp pushes children out of their comfort zone and exposes them to new ... Read More
Challenger Foundation (11/30/2018) - Challenger's goal is to bring smiles to the faces of 10,000 children through a program of funded camps, clinics, and year-round coaching. In 2019, Challenger coaches will provide coaching and mentorship in a number of U.S. and international cities, helping provide those children who cannot afford to participate in organized sport, with the opportunity to play, learn, and have fun! Challenger Sports is now a proud partner with the Global Orphan Project and we share their vision to care for children the world has left behind and prevent child abandonment. We also share their mission to provide support and care ... Read More
Everything in Soccer (11/30/2018) - Everything in Soccer will bring together the soccer community from North America where key aspect of the game will be discussed over two days of action packed debates, discussions, demonstrations, social networking and much more. The event will feature 4 key themes; Stimulation, Education, Innovation and Regulation. Soccer has now become the number 1 sport with the youth of Canada (200,000 more children are playing Soccer opposed to Hockey - caughtoffside.com). In one of the largest markets for the game of soccer (Canada) the opportunities are unlimited to be apart of the game no matter what the sector. The time is now to ... Read More
Soccerex in Miami Nov 2018 (8/15/2018) - Challenger Sports are proud to announce a partnership with the leading professional soccer networking event in the World! Soccerex have been bringing together the global soccer industry to network in a unique commercial environment for over twenty years. From industry leading networking events across the globe to market insight campaigns, they provide a platform to connect your business with the game's key stakeholders. Just like Challenger, Soccerex are committed to growing the beautiful game around the world and their love of the beautiful game is truly at the heart of everything they do. Soccerex USA will be held in Miami on ... Read More
Post your photo and win! (3/27/2018) - One of Challenger's official partners, United Soccer Coaches, which has one vote as an associate member at U.S. Soccer's National Council that will decide the presidential election on Feb. 10, has issued a call for the candidates to unite the entire soccer family. Its statement, signed by new president Lesle Gallimore, CEO Lynn Berling-Manuel and other United Soccer Coaches leaders, asks that the eight candidates pledge to support five points: As a voting member of U.S. Soccer, United Soccer Coaches has watched the unfolding of the presidential election with optimism. We do not know who will win this election, but on behalf of ... Read More
Need Help With Soccer Parents? (4/17/2018) - Challenger Sports has teamed up with soccer parenting expert (and former SoccerPlus coach) Skye Eddie Bruce to help our partner clubs deal with one of the most important issues in the game - PARENTS! I founded the Soccer Parenting Association (Soccer Parenting) to improve youth soccer by empowering parents to help their child’s soccer experience be inspiring. In addition to being a youth soccer parent myself, I am also a youth coach, a coach educator for United Soccer Coaches and the Changing the Game Project, a Board member, and a former top level player. I have had amazing coaching mentors, ... Read More
A call for Unity in US Soccer (1/31/2018) -
Coach Tony DiCicco given US Soccer’s highest honor! (1/4/2018) - Former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco, who passed away last June, has been posthumously named the winner of U.S. Soccer’s prestigious Werner Fricker Builder Award.
How to be a Good Soccer Parent (4/17/2019) - Being a positive role model for your child, sounds like it should be easy, however even the most placid parent can get carried away in the heat of competition and within the ultra competitive team environment created by over zealous club programs. Do not comment on every moment of your child’s game, and when you feel the need to say something, make sure it is positive and encouraging. Don’t talk badly about competitors, criticise teammates or officials, and do not openly second-guess the coach. There are enough uninformed critics in the stands hurling insults at kids playing a game, so ... Read More
Challenger to help Around the World! (11/29/2017) - Program Founder Stephen Schirra explains exactly what Around the Worlds, Around the World does for children across the globe. "Around the Worlds, Around the World is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects children from extreme circumstances all over the world to the game of soccer, using it as a platform to instill positive change while fostering joy and hope.
Premier League Soccer Experience! (11/2/2017) - This tour is a true football experience of a lifetime for both teams and players ages U10 to U18! Based in Southampton at Southampton FC Academy, England, this tour combines visiting local historical and cultural sites with a superb football playing and training environment.
Win 12 months of soccer support for your club! (10/20/2017) - Challenger Sports recently joined six other like-minded soccer-based companies to form an alliance. Our goal? To collaborate for the betterment of soccer in the United States! This alliance – Solving Soccer, led by Ryan Hodgson of US Coaches Club, began by creating a website containing numerous resources for youth soccer organizations to improve the quality of services they provide for their players, parents, and coaches.
New GK Icon gloves now available! (10/13/2017) - The new GK Icon glove range is now available! Challenger’s GK Icon is the fastest growing goalkeeper franchise in the UK. GK Icon franchises have now opened in the US and they are an official partner of our residential goalkeeper and field player camp – SoccerPlus! The impressive range of GK Icon gloves have just been delivered to our warehouse and are ready to ship! Our GK Icon gloves have been meticulously designed and engineered to provide goalkeepers of all ages and abilities with the ultimate in goalkeeping. From superior comfort and innovative technologies we have it all under affordable prices across a ... Read More
Learn Futsal from Brazilian Experts! (10/6/2017) - Futsal is one of the fastest growing sports for soccer players, coaches, and clubs. According to a FIFA report, “an average 40-minute futsal game, a player will touch the ball roughly every 29 seconds, or 80 total touches.” Now compare that to a 90-minute outdoor soccer game where players only make around 30-40 touches.
60 Experts, 40 Days, 1 Goal…Solutions for your sports (2/27/2019) - Challenger Sports are very excited to share details of an amazing project we are working on with 60 other passionate youth sports leaders. The 2019 GO! Chase Excellence Think Tank to Improve Youth Sports brings together the world’s leading experts in the many fields that impact youth sports. This isn’t your typical online summit or in-person conference. The focus is not to dwell on what is not working. Rather, it is to offer targeted presentations and discussions that deep dive into science, research, and professional practice to identify practical ideas for easily implemented change by participants. It will change the ... Read More
How Soccer in the US is organized! (10/16/2017) - International, Professional, Amateur, Collegiate & Youth Soccer From top to bottom throughout soccer in the US, there are numerous acronyms for the many leagues, divisions, and sanctioned affiliate groups. Here is a guide that will help you better understand the organization and structure of the sport within the United States. FIFA The world of international soccer is governed at the highest level by The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). FIFA’s membership now comprises of 211 national associations. Member countries must each also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the soccer world is divided. CONCACAF ... Read More
Challenger Sports & Soccer Office Announce Official Partnership (10/3/2017) - Challenger Sports is pleased to announce that we have partnered with the world’s leader in Virtual Sports Administrative Services.
Challenger goes virtual! (1/8/2018) -