This weekend, Timaru will host a “champion of champions” futsal tournament, which will crown the best secondary school team in New Zealand.
Twenty-six teams – mostly South Island – will compete for the five-a-side indoor soccer title. Players aged from 11 to 19 will compete in various age grades.
After the three-day event, Timaru will also host an international futsal “test match” between New Zealand and a Brazilian residents’ selection on June 11.
South Canterbury will be represented in the tournament by Mountainview High School and Timaru Boys’ High School, while Timaru South and Gleniti schools will take part in the younger grades.
Russell King, who is helping organise the event at the SBS Centre, said it was a good chance for people to come and see an energetic game, which was gaining momentum in South Canterbury.
“It’s a very energetic and clean style of game,” he said. “You need patience and a lot of fitness for [futsal].”
He said it would be a opportunity to see some of South Canterbury’s best young footballers like Northern Hearts striker Tymon Bernard, former New Zealand futsal representative Brent Clifford and all ready selected national futsal representative James Blatherwisk.
King said the local schools would face tough opposition from Christchurch-based teams like Linwood High School, who will be strong in both the junior and senior sections. “They’ve [Linwood] got a good culture of futsal.”
He said it would be free to watch the tournament which starts on Saturday, and the international game next Friday.
“I just hope people come along and have a look at what the sport is all about.”