Across the globe, there are many different variants of association football. Most of them however, fail to capture the world's imagination. One such case differs from the alternative pack.
Futsal is the latest variant of the beautiful game that has gone down a treat on a global scale. Essentially, it is an indoor variant of five a side football played on a hard court surface with a smaller and heavier ball than regular football.
It was created in 1930 by a Uruguayan teacher and has since grown across the world. There are two Futsal World Cups; one affiliated with FIFA and one with AMF (International Futsal Federation).
The game has only emerged in Scotland in more recent years and one school is amongst those leading the way.
Tynecastle High School is the hub of futsal in south east of Scotland. The Scottish Futsal League’s regional division plays their weekly fixtures at the venue, with teams from across the Lothians meeting on league duty and also hosting their Scottish Cup ties.
Recently the school itself has taken steps to introduce the sport, with their first youth event. The event saw PE Teacher, and futsal enthusiast, James McPartlin organise an ‘introduction to futsal’ afternoon for local primary school children. Held on a Friday after school, it saw players from the Tynecastle High School senior football team coach a selection of players from local cluster primary schools.
Bretty Pennycuik, Callum Huckle & Kieran McCreadie were amongst the coaches on the day. They commented: “We were pleased to welcome the young players of Balgreen and Dalry for today’s session. It was just some basic skills training and introduction to game play, but the young players responded really well. A lot of the best players in the world started off playing futsal, so it’s great to give these kids the chance to start early.
Organiser McPartin said: “For anyone considering starting up futsal within their club or school, my message would be ‘go for it’. It’s something we’ve began introducing as core PE at Tynecastle and the technical ability of the young players is progressing already. A lot of matches are being called off just now and it’s the perfect way to ensure lots of time on the ball all year round.”