The development of beach soccer in Fiji took an important next step last month, with the association holding their first FIFA Beach Soccer Coaching Course in Vatuwaqa.
The course was led by Angelo Schirinzi, a FIFA Instructor with a history of helping to grow the game in Tahiti and Solomon Islands.
He is also the current head coach of the Switzerland beach soccer national team and led them to a bronze medal in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021™. Previously he had appeared at three World Cups as a player as well.
The week-long course saw 20 participants – a mix of coaches and Fiji Football Association (FFA) Development Officers – engage in theory and practical sessions on the basics of beach soccer, which included understanding the techniques and skills of the game.
Members of the group also mentored teams at the Lami Regional Club Beach Soccer Championship at the conclusion of the course and were assessed by Schirinzi.
Schirinzi said he was glad to be present in Fiji to share his knowledge.
“I was happy to contribute to the development of beach soccer in the country. Thank you FFA for inviting me to attend,” Schirinzi said.
FFA President Rajesh Patel said the organisation was fortunate to have someone of Schirinzi’s calibre on hand.
“Schirinzi has a lot of knowledge and experience in beach soccer, so it was important for our future coaches to learn as much as they could while he was here,” Patel said.
“Our goal is to focus on the growth of beach soccer in Fiji, and like futsal, we need our coaches to help us make it happen.”
Looking ahead the FFA are in the planning stages of introducing beach soccer to the Maritime Islands such as Yasawa, Kadavu and Lau and hope to build their own pitches in Suva, Ba and Labasa.