Futsal brings worlds together
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
An exciting version of ‘the world’s game’ is kicking goals when it comes to introducing new international residents to the recreational and sporting activities on offer in Geelong.
In 2011, Swim Sport and Leisure’s Summer Futsal League welcomed two under 19 teams made up of players from Sudan, Burma, Liberia, Thailand and Congo. All of the players are new residents in the Greater Geelong area and students at North Geelong Secondary College.
Nathan Geary from the Leisuretime Centre said sport is often used to help break down cultural barriers and build cross-cultural friendships, and the Summer Futsal League is doing just that.
“The new teams have embraced the competition with all players taking the opportunity to try out their developing skills on the court. The fast pace of futsal has made for some very exciting matches and the sporting and life skills that are being developed will go a long way in helping these new Geelong residents integrate into the Australian way of life,” he said.
The teams are supported by the City of Greater Geelong, Diversitat, the North Geelong Soccer Club and the S4U2 program, which provided the teams with socks and shin pads.
The Summer Futsal League is a junior competition held at the Leisuretime Centre during Terms 4 and 1 with divisions for under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 19. Competitions also run each term at Barwon Valley Activity Centre.
For further details on the competition, please contact the Leisuretime Centre on 03 5272 4990.
What is Futsal?
|Futsal is a version of indoor soccer that is played between two teams of five players. Matches are played on a basketball-sized court with a smaller ball that has less bounce than a regular soccer ball, which results in high scoring games that see players get around 12 times more touches than when playing outdoor football.
Junior Futsal Program Producing Stars
Soccer has been part of Josh Graham’s life for as long as he can remember.
7 year old Josh first enrolled in Swim Sport and Leisure’s junior soccer program when he was four. Currently participating in the Futsal Stars third and final phase, he is also competing every Friday night in a competition
above his age group, against children who are older than him and some even twice his size!
The Futsal Stars program is aligned with Football Federation Australia’s national curriculum and has three phases for students to progress through as they develop. Children as young as four can enter the program,
which prepares them for competition level by the age of seven.
The skills Josh has learned through the program helped him to be selected for the Geelong Skills Acquisition program at the age of six. Only the most technically competent players are selected for the program, which
aims to perfect and accelerate their skill development. Generally, selected players are aged between 9 and 12, making Josh one of the program’s youngest recruits.
The Futsal Stars program runs during school term and is taught by two senior futsal players who have represented Geelong at the highest state level of competition.