Nathan Funston of Sequim is in the business of helping change lives.
Turns out a soccer star from Seattle and his team’s chaplain are, too.
The three — Funston, Seattle Sounders star Steve Zakuani and pastor Garrick Pang — are collaborating on a plan to bring three or four Sounders to Sequim on July 17 for a soccer camp as part of the Kingdom Hope program.
Zakuani founded Kingdom Hope as a community outreach organization with the vision statement of “Inspiring Greatness through Soccer.” The nonprofit organization aims to help and inspire individuals to become achievers in all areas of life through camps, clinics, a scholarship fund and soccer academies. The program’s ultimate vision is to establish soccer academies in several locations.
Until then, Zakuani and Pang, Kingdom Hope’s executive director, are hosting clinics throughout the area.
Funston met with Pang and Kingdom Hope organizers at a camp in Bremerton a few months ago. He then met with Zakuani and Pang several weeks ago in a Seattle Starbucks to talk about the camp.
“It’s a little daunting (getting the camp going),” Funston says. “I was born and raised here. I don’t want to have egg in my face. (But) I’m pretty pumped.”
As of now, preregistration is open only through Funston’s website (www.nathanfunston.com); registration will be available in May. Besides the July 17 date, times and location are not set yet, Funston said, but other details are certain: two clinics will be for youths 8 and older, and one clinic for adults 18-plus. Each clinic will be 90 minutes and end in a kick-around with a Sounder on each team.
“First and foremost, it’s kind of a ‘dream camp,’” Funston says. “It’s not all about shaking hands; it’s going to be pretty serious.”
He said Zakuani plans to talk about the path he took to become a professional athlete. The Congolese soccer star led the nation in scoring at the University of Akron in 2008 and was the No. 1 pick by the Sounders in 2009.
Cost is estimated at $75 per person. The limit is 50 people per session to keep the groups small enough to get individual tips from the pros.
The camp is scheduled to be on a big week for the Sounders, Funston notes, because they’ll be taking on Manchester United on July 20.
For more information about Kingdom Hope, see kingdom-hope.org.
Funston is seeking sponsors to help out with the camp as well. Contact Funston at 670-5830 or through his website.