Futsal fad finds fans fizzing

Mini football travels to Taranaki

CAMPBELL THWAITES
Last updated 05:00 24/06/2014
Mini football: The portable futsal court which will be in New Plymouth from tomorrow until Sunday.
MINI FOOTBALL: The portable futsal court which will be in New Plymouth from tomorrow until Sunday.

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New Plymouth is gearing up for the 2015 Fifa Under-20 World Cup with the installation of a world class court for futsal, a mini version of football.

The court, which is travelling New Zealand, will be set up at Tasman Prospect, by the Wind Wand, from tomorrow to Sunday.

Clubs, schools, families, friends and businesses are all taking part as well as a special face-off between New Plymouth and South Taranaki district councillors, including mayors Andrew Judd and Ross Dunlop.

The court will be open to the public for several sessions throughout the week starting on Thursday at 11.30am to noon and 2pm to 3.30pm.

Regional sales and marketing manager for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup Theresa Cayley said the public had responded very well and there were only a few spots left across the week.

"It's been phenomenal how people have embraced this opportunity," she said.

"Most Kiwi futsal fans would only see a court like this in use overseas so it will be pretty special to see young football fans out on court, putting it through its paces in New Plymouth."

Sessions will also be held by New Zealand Futsal White coach Scott Gilligan during the week.

In other countries, such as football powerhouses Brazil and Spain, children typically grow up playing futsal before moving to full-size football as teenagers. Using a smaller, low bounce ball on a basketball-sized court, emphasis is placed on teamwork and core skills.

Stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Pele all attribute much of their success to playing futsal.

Campbell Thwaites is an AUT journalism student

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- Taranaki Daily News

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