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Futsal fever

Futsal in action

Futsal in action Martin Pemberton

9 July 2009

Sport, Exercise and Health (SEH) has teamed up with the John Rutley Sport Fund and the Football Foundation to bring a new sport to budding young footballers in the Bristol area, with the aim of improving their playing skills and technique.

Futsal is a specially adapted version of indoor football that uses a smaller, heavier ball, allowing players to stay in control of the ball in a smaller pitch space. The game is fast and flowing and encourages attacking movement, decision-making and creativity. Futsal originates from South America, where it is referred to as futebol de salão.

The Futsal Fever project was launched earlier this year and is led by Robbie Fox, SEH School Event Coordinator, and Matt Paine, Sports Development Officer (Performance). The pair have so far led coaching sessions for more than 150 children in four secondary schools in the Bristol area, including an all-girls session at Monks Park School.

Robbie Fox said: ‘As FA football coaches, we recognise the potential of Futsal as an educational tool that can help young footballers vastly improve and develop as players. In a short space of time Futsal has been very well received in local schools and we hope to make it a big part of curricular and extra-curricular sport in as many schools as possible.’

The University of Bristol also runs a coach education programme and encourages students to qualify as coaches. ‘Students gain many valuable skills from coaching sport and interacting with young people,’ said Matt Paine. ‘We have already seen first hand the positive effects that female coaches can have on girl footballers, and with Futsal being the fastest growing women’s sport in the British Universities and Colleges Sport programme, we hope to recruit many more female coaches.’

For more information, please contact Robbie Fox, email, tel 0117 331 1006 or Matt Paine, email, tel 0117 331 1117.

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