Sunderland pupils on the ball with Futsal

Hetton School youngsters.
Hetton School youngsters.

Youngsters at a Sunderland school are gearing up to start a new sport.

The youngsters at Hetton School are ready to start playing Futsal after receiving a free starter pack – news that has delighted Michael Skubala, England Futsal head coach.

The pack contains Futsal specific equipment including goals, balls and bibs, as well as FA accredited coaching and refereeing courses, which will help to expose the students to Futsal, creating competitions and more opportunities to play against other schools.

The starter packs are designed to adapt existing sports halls, playgrounds and other hard surface facilities to make them Futsal-ready.

The packs came courtesy of a £300,000 Futsal scheme, which is funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation.

Futsal is a five-a-side game, normally played on a flat indoor pitch with hockey-sized goals and a size four ball with a reduced bounce. The exciting, fast-paced game is played across the world and is officially recognised by both UEFA and FIFA.

Regarded as an important and growing game, it is hoped that the provision of equipment and courses will lead to the development of more Futsal players, leagues, competitions and facilities across the country.

Caroline Ames, Girls’ Football Academy head coach at Hetton School, said: “The Futsal starter pack is a fantastic opportunity to allow all of the students to take part, including the Girls’ Football Academy players, giving them more opportunities to develop.”

The nature of the game places a large emphasis on technical skill and ability in situations of high pressure, and is subsequently an excellent breeding ground for football competencies that can be translated into the 11-a-side format of the game.

As well as delivering the Futsal scheme, the Football Foundation delivers several other schemes and since 2000 has supported more than 15,000 grassroots projects worth more than £1.4billion.

Michael Skubala, England Futsal Head Coach, said: “A big well done to Hetton School for securing a Futsal starter pack – they have a bright future ahead of them now.

“We want to get more people playing the sport for the love of it and who knows, perhaps we’ll see some future international players unearthed as a result.”

He said Futsal is growing all the time and The FA is dedicated to increasing its importance and popularity.