Sixteen to 18 year old scholars from leading football league clubs participated in the launch festival at the @Futsal arena in Swindon, to mark the launch of this year’s National Football League Trust Futsal Scholarship programme.
The Futsal scholarship, involves an innovative consortium, including Swindon Academy, @Futsal Group, The Football League Trust, TVS and other specialist partners. The programme combines the game of Futsal as the fastest growing indoor sport in the world with a solid educational programme underpinned by Swindon Academy and now involves the majority of the football league clubs on a national basis.
On Wednesday 12 September, the @Futsal arena in Swindon welcomed scholars from a variety of professional clubs such as, Southampton, Cardiff City, Southend, Cheltenham Town, Bristol City & Rovers, Swindon Town FC and many more.
The day was seen as an opportunity for the scholars to showcase their talents against other professional clubs and to have the opportunity to play in a 5 star indoor arena designed for the game of Futsal. Futsal encourages fair play and sportsmanship and the festival was to prove exactly that.
The festival was designed so that no teams would gain points for winning or drawing games and the emphasis being on fair play and player sportsmanship. The scholars throughout the day worked tirelessly and showed fantastic sportsmanship by helping opponents up when they had made slide tackles or had been knocked to the ground. The FIFA fair play guide was also followed with teams shaking hands both before and after the game given the day a very professional and respectful day. The teams will now prepare to face each other in the Football League Trust National Futsal League. This is going to see some fantastic Futsal being played, with hopefully one or two new stars being born, which may follow in the footsteps of Alfee Robbins from Swindon who last year had the opportunity to play international Futsal with the England squad.
The following day it was the Girls Scholars who took to the arena in Swindon to take part in their Festival. Teams such as Exeter City, Cardiff City, and Swindon Town participated in the day and following on from the boy’s festival the day was again all about sportsmanship rather than winning. Throughout the day the girls mixed with each other and it was a joy to see teams forming friendships on the field which can only have a positive effect for when their National league starts.
The feedback has been fantastic with all team managers and coaches speaking highly of the arena and the facilities and the standard of Futsal that was showcased over the festivals. The managers will now go away to work with their teams as they prepare to meet in the National League during the 2012/13 season.
Pictured: Swindon Town FC Boys who participated in the Futsal launch Festival at the premier Futsal arena in Swindon