FFAS in midst of follow-up Futsal visits to high schools

Pago Pago, American Samoa — Friday, February 19, 2010 — Futsal (indoor soccer) is being enjoyed in the local high schools at the moment through the tutelage of FFAS Men’s Development Officer Ruben Luvu as he has been holding practical and theoretical sessions with three public high schools through their PE & Health classes.

Department of Education Director Dr. Claire Poumele gave the approval for FFAS to hold Futsal follow-up visits to high school.

Just recently Luvu completed a week long stay at Nu’uuli Voc-Tech, home of the boys’ high school defending champs for 11-a-side.

Luvu worked with the help of Voc-Tech Vice-Principal and PE teacher Samoa Samoa, PE & Health teachers Jeff Neufelt and Tavita Tautai.

“It’s a great sport and very good for us small schools,” explained Tautai. “For some of the kids who do not want to move around too much in a big field, they really like this sport and a lot of them are coming out to play.”

“It is good because not all of the students want to play 11-a-side soccer,” added Neufelt, coach of the boys’ championship team from last year, “but seeing this game played on a much smaller area they really want to participate.”

Luvu spent two days in the classroom with all the PE & Health classes, touching base on the Futsal Laws of the Game and the strategy of the game.

The last two days Luvu had the classes forming up into teams and competing against one another “to see if they learned anything in the classroom.”

Already Luvu has visited Leone and Tafuna high schools with Faga’itua to follow next week and lastly Samoana.

“Tafuna so far has shown the most interest as their gym was packed with students wanting to play and students coming into watch,” Luvu recalled. “I think they will pick up the sport very fast.”

FFAS has steadily sent its development officers out to the schools the last three years to promote Futsal and the association is working on a proposal for DOE and ASHSAA to implement the game into its sporting curriculum for the school year 2010-2011.

“Because it doesn’t involve a lot of players, such as 11-a-side, I think the game can become popular in the schools,” pointed out FFAS CEO, Tavita Taumua. “It’s a fast paced game played on a much smaller pitch compared to 11-a-side and those reasons are enough to attract a lot of players, both male and female.”

FFAS will be hosting its first ever Futsal competition on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at the American Samoa Community College’s gym for both men and women.

“With the launch of our Futsal competition, and it will be a yearly one, this makes it a continuous sport for them to play in high school, graduate and then play out of high school,” Taumua said. “I see a lot of potential in this sport growing in our territory.”


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