Play the beautiful game this summer

Photo: Supplied.

It's the beautiful game, and there's good reason for that name. Football is the biggest sport in the world, bringing people from different backgrounds together in a shared passion for the game.

Local football club Blue Rovers knows all about that passion and is getting more people involved in the sport through a number of programmes and initiatives over the summer.

One-on-one training sessions are available, run by Blue Rovers' director of football.

These sessions provide four main benefits; tailored training, more touches on the ball, the opportunity to receive 100% of the coach's attention, and the ability to work towards individual goals rather than team goals.

The one-on-one sessions are suitable for children and youth from 8 years old.

Skills Labs are another initiative run by the club which are aimed at providing a platform for children to improve their individual football and futsal skills.

The Skills Labs are heavily focused on improving the individual's football skills taught in a small group environment. One of the club's most popular initiatives is Fast Football – a version of the 5-aside, indoor football game Futsal, adapted to be played outdoors.

With less players on the field at a time, each player gets more time on the ball, estimated to be 700-900 per cent more touches than winter football.

The small space on the field also puts more emphasis on ball control, player movement and teamwork.

The rules have been simplified to make the game more accessible, and results are not recorded to help keep the focus on player development and fun rather than the outcome of any particular game.

Blue Rovers Club President Theo Ursum says Fast Football was started to make football more accessible.

"It's cheap at around $13 per person rather than $110 per person for winter subs, less formal as you don't need uniforms or to register individual players, and is centrally located.

"It also gives people who play different winter sports the opportunity to give football a go."

The club has over 50 Fast Football teams involved this term.

"People play Fast Football for a number of reasons: the football, to socialise with family and friends, meet new people, or for health and fitness," says Theo.

"We have new entrants giving football a go, groups of friends who have played together for years, work teams having a few laughs together, and family teams sharing their love of football."

Earlier this year, the club received $15,000 in TECT funding to purchase new portable goals to use for both Fast Football and the newly created Skill Lab centres.

The new goals were needed as their previous goals, originally built by club volunteers, were over 15 years old, says Theo.

"The club needed more goals to meet the increasing number of players with the club and to replace older goals coming to the end of their life.

"It's important for us to have these goals as it means our football community will have safe, fit-for-purpose equipment that they'll be able to enjoy for many years to come.

"We absolutely couldn't have bought these goals without the incredible support of TECT."

If you are interested in registering for Fast Football for 2022 Term 1, which runs Tuesdays from 22nd February to 5th April 2022, visit https




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