Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek
Delegates from all over the Oceania Football Confederation converged on Papeete this past week for a Beach Soccer Workshop aimed at growing the sport in our region.
The workshop run by FIFA and OFC was held at the Fédération Tahitienne de Football headquarters focused on several areas including development in Member Associations, getting an understanding of where each MA is at with its Beach Soccer Development, current activities, and the infrastructure each MA has in place.
OFC had of Beach Soccer and Futsal Paul Toohey said the workshop looked at the Integration of beach soccer, along with futsal, into grassroots, youth and women’s football programmes
“The Technical Study Group got an understanding of the challenges each MA is facing in developing Beach Soccer and encouraged greater participation in future OFC BS tournaments. Through Angelo (Schirinzi) we are increasing our knowledge and awareness of High Performance Beach Soccer, technical and tactical analysis of the matches (TSG)” Toohey said.The workshop was held in conjunction with the OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup with delegates attending the tournament matches each day.
The week ended with a Beach Soccer Festival involving dozens of young kids showcasing their skills.
“We have found a way to go forward in terms of development in Beach Soccer. There have been so many highlights. First to have everyone together and get everyone part of the discussion. To hear from them how they look at their own countries and from that point how they go forward in their member associations. It has been an amazing week and we have had so much feedback from the participants,” OFC consultant Juliano Schmeling said.
Schmeling was optimistic Member Associations would commit to investing in Beach Soccer development programmes.
“That’s the main objective and the feedback we are getting is the investment will be better and they will try harder in development and we totally believe in the next few years there will be increased numbers playing,” Schmeling said.
The kids festival, held on the morning before the final day of OFC competition, saw a mix of coaching sessions and matches with key messaging around social responsibility.
“The message for the kids is about respect. For them to become better players they must have respect and this morning we encouraged kids that respect starts at home and that is the main value in the Pacific Islands and if we want to become a real champion on the field we must be a champion in the home.
“When we have respect we can become good community leaders and we have to respect the referees and everyone involved. The future of Beach Soccer in the Pacific is bright if we continue to respect each other,” Ben Hungai VFF Futsal and Beach Soccer Development Officer said.
“We asked them what the definition of respect was, we wanted to work around the value of respect. So they started by giving us a few examples of what they thought respect was. So respect for the family, respect for the environment, respect for the facilities, respect for parents, big brothers and big sisters, so the idea was really to talk about this value of respect,” François Josse the FCF Technical Advisor added.