North Platte Kids Klub launches after school soccer program

News 2 at 6
Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 7:12 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Graeme Eaglesham grew up in Scotland where playing soccer was free. He then went to the United States for college on a scholarship. After realizing that the United States has a “Pay to Play” model when it comes to children’s sports, he wanted to change that.

Eaglesham started helping out with soccer clubs, but soon realized that kids were being excluded from play because their parents couldn’t afford to pay the hefty fees that were incorporated with children sports.

Eaglesham instructing children during soccer practice at Kids Klub
Eaglesham instructing children during soccer practice at Kids Klub(Ian Mason/KNOP)

Eaglesham and a few of his friends started the group Future Kids in North Omaha as a way to reach out to communities of children who may not have the money to play sports, but want to.

Future Kids schedules matches and creates teams for these kids to play together, on top of providing them with passionate coaches who care about the children involved.

Future Kids offers their services at no cost to parents or children, instead, being fueled exclusively by donations and grants.

Eaglesham wanted to expand out of Omaha, and has been going to Lincoln and other areas for a while.

In January, Eaglesham started teaching children at Cody Elementary School in North Platte how to play soccer as an activity in the Kids Klub after school program.

He hopes to be able to expand to other schools and even offer summer camps in the future so that he can share his passion of soccer with the next generation.

Eaglesham giving a thumbs up to children at Kids Klub
Eaglesham giving a thumbs up to children at Kids Klub(Ian Mason/KNOP)

“If my parents in Scottland had to pay a thousand bucks a season I might not be where I am today because back home in Scottland I benifited from some amazing coaches who taught me everything I know about soccer,” Eaglesham said. “And, I feel it is kind of my duty to pass that on and that is why I started Future Kids so that people can experience that type of coaching and hopefully take it with them.”

Future Kids already teaches kids in Kearney and Lexington, and North Platte is now the furthest west the group operates.

Carrie Lienemann, the director of Kids Klub, was excited to have Eaglesham come to North Platte and share his skills with the community.

“Graeme and I started Zooming with each other and it just felt like a really good fit,” Lienemann said. “We love our soccer here, so having him come and expose our kids to some of that, and the mentaurship that comes with some of that that goes along with their program, their mission was just aligned perfectly with our after school mission, so having them come and do this seemed like a no-brainer.”

Eaglesham playing soccer with kids at Kids Klub
Eaglesham playing soccer with kids at Kids Klub(Ian Mason/KNOP)