Innovative soccer school gets kids off the street and on to the pitch
A Bradford based voluntary organisation – which provides young children with Futsal style football coaching – has become a huge success in the city.
Futsal is a small-sided, fast-paced, indoor football game which has become popular around the world thanks to famous footballers playing it when they were young.
Current stars of the football world, who improved their moves from the freestyle skills of futsal in their youth, include Christian Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Locally, in Bradford, Futsal FC United was founded by Usman Iqbal, who was studying for a coaching degree at university. Together with Wahid Rasib and Bash Mahmood, the student formed a small project which initially started with just five children.
A year later and the club has blossomed, with over 100 children attending training and classes every weekend at the Frame 2 Complex.
Youngsters aged between five and 14 years are queuing up to join the FA-affiliated club with backing from the local community.
The soccer school aims to tackle anti-social behaviour and take children off the streets so that they have an alternative to the boredom that often leads to crime.
The club’s first Annual Awards Event had the Lord Mayor Joanne Dodds in attendance on Saturday 2nd January.
Co-founder of the club, Wahid Rasib, said: “The Lord Mayor was gobsmacked when she saw what we have achieved in such a short space of time. She had never seen a project like this with so much community cohesion.
“We have white kids, Asian kids, Afro-Caribbean kids and they all work together. What glues people together is the football.”
Wahid wants to take Futsal FC United to every school in Bradford. The club charges each child £3 a session which covers the cost of the facility and the equipment but under-privileged kids can get a discount.
He added: “The kids can be difficult but we focus on discipline in our sessions.
“It is fun but there is a school atmosphere which means that even kids from social services can come along and mix well.”