Smith River Sports Complex to Host Mia Hamm Camp

4 Apr, 2016

The Smith River Sports Complex (SRSC) will be hosting the TeamFirst Soccer Academy June 3-5, 2016, with the deadline to register set for May 1. The camp is instructed by three former U.S Women's Soccer players, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Tisha Venturini Hoch.

"Many of us remember how the '99 Women's World Cup team excited our nation as people were glued to their TV screens," Billy Russo, SRSC Director of Operations, said. "After that event millions of young kids flocked to the soccer fields and the sport saw unprecedented growth. We are thrilled to bring three of these soccer legends to our backyard and for them to share their skills, knowledge, and stories with this generation of young soccer players."

Between Hamm, Lilly and Venturini-Hoch, the former national team members have a combined five Olympic gold medals, five World Cup championships and 12 NCAA titles.

“Throughout our careers, we were incredibly lucky to have high-character, world-class coaches at our disposal,” Lilly said on the academy's website. “Having that kind of knowledge and experience available to us at young ages laid the foundations for our success.”

According to, the TeamFirst Soccer Academy is "dedicated to providing young soccer players an opportunity to develop as individual players within a disciplined and unselfish team environment." It is also their goal to "encourage players to respect the integrity of the game while we continue to nurture [the players'] love for soccer."

“I’m motivated to share my passion and love for the game,” Hamm mentioned on the academy's website. “But more than that, I want to help young players cultivate a sense of self-worth that will help them reach their full potential in life. I want them to understand that personal growth and team success are not mutually exclusive.”

The academy will begin Friday, June 3, at 5 p.m. and conclude on Sunday, June 5, at 12:30 p.m. The participants will have three training sessions with Hamm, Lilly and Venturini-Hoch. Friday's session will be from 5 p.m. till 8 p.m., then Saturday's and Sunday's will be from 9 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. 

TeamFirst is open to boys and girls ages 7-18. To register visit or call 276-638-5200 ext. 1. The cost of the soccer academy will be $325 and the deadline to register is May 1. 

"To be able to give back to our great community means the world to me," said Patrick Sullivan, founder/organizer of the Delores Sullivan Kick for the Cure and also responsible for initially contacting TeamFirst. "To be able to bring world-class players in to educate our regional players is huge.  This is truly a once in a lifetime experience.  I think it will take our local and regional soccer to another level." 

For more information visit or, call 276-638-5200, ext. 1, or email Also be sure to follow the Smith River Sports Complex on Facebook and Twitter @SmithRiverSport for the latest news around SRSC.


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