Soccer moms unite!
It’s that time again when everyone goes football (or soccer – depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re from) crazy. If your little striker or goalie has been swept up in the World Cup furore and wants to learn how to bend it like Beckham, then we’ve listed some of the best football schools and training teams in the 852 for you to join. Even if their room isn’t plastered with football icons, participating in team sports at a young age can do wonders for development, confidence and overall health, not to mention it’s the perfect chance to make new friends. And let’s face it, there’s no other cultural unifier like sport – it’s a universal language. Swipe through to see some of the most popular kid’s football clubs in HK; there’s something for boys, girls, the barely-just-walking to older tweens and teens. Get ready for kick-off…
Chelsea FC Soccer School was set up by former HK pro footballer, George Santos, who then developed the school after specialised training from the iconic London-based Chelsea Football Club. Sessions here are fun for the boys and girl’s teams and follow the same training techniques that the Chelsea FC Foundations practices in the UK. Students will work on their reactions, concentration, ball skills and coordination. They’ll put their new tippy-tappy skills into practice in a 30-minute match, held at the end of every session. This school is perfect for Kowloon-based families looking for an easy commute as sessions take place at Kowloon Bay Park, Lam Tin Chelsea soccer pitch and Kwun Tong indoor pitch. Classes are conducted in English and Cantonese.
Even the most casual football fan knows who Ronaldo is, and this academy aims to instil Ronaldo’s passion and love of the beautiful game into its students. And who wouldn’t want to take tips from the second highest scorer in World Cup history? That sounds like a pretty good mentor to us. There’s still time to sign up for its many summer courses and camps held across HK.
If you’re looking to start them young then Little Kickers should be the top of your list. Starting from 18 months, your little one can join in the fun up until the grand old age of 7 years old. Eighteen months might seem a little young for soccer stardom but Little Kicker’s philosophy is all about keeping it fun, as it helps children to build social, emotional, and cognitive skills, along with football-specific talents. Classes are an age-appropriate 45 minutes and follow the mantra of “play not push” as well as “learning to learn”, so you have no need to worry that they’re under any pressure to perform. No penalty kick shoot-outs or red cards here. Little Kickers also makes the parental logistics a little easier for you as there are venues across Hong Kong, and classes run throughout the year.
Little Kickers, 6772 5870, www.littlekickers.com.hk
ESF offers continued development for absolute beginners to advanced future pros. Players will learn technical skills and master the art of match strategy, alongside teammates at a similar level to their own. Players are assessed within their age group and placed in a group best suited to their own ability, allowing individuals to develop at their own pace. Because the lionesses have sporting prowess too, there are sessions just for girls (ages 5 to 11). And if your kid shows particular talent and an interest to go further, the Lions offer an expert development programme and its own Youth Academy for kids up to 18, where they can get a taste of the big leagues and compete in the Hong Kong Junior Football League (HKJFL).
Learn to move to the rhythm of Rio and master how to play the Brazilian way! Football isn’t just about fancy footwork but also how you work as a team. The Brazil Football Academy aims not only to create top players but also foster stand-up citizens in the community, removing the emphasis from winning and instead focusing on a player’s long-term development, sportsmanship and teamwork. BFA also runs TinyTots, a football school for kids ages 18 months to 4 year olds. If dad has got a little too excited watching the World Cup and sees himself as the next Pele or Neymar (a man can dream), they can join in too, supporting their little one at TinyTot’s parent and child introduction class; just remind them to keep the embarrassing goal celebrations to a minimum…
If your footy fanatic wants to join the HK Dragons, sign ‘em up now as the next term starts 20 August 2018. There are classes at Discovery Bay, Tung Chung, Mui Wo, Pui O & Stanley with classes for little, junior and senior dragons teams. The Dragons are a brilliant choice if you’re serious about soccer, as they have several teams compete in the Hong Kong Junior Football League (ages 8 to 15). Expect students to master defence and tackling, tactical awareness, movement and agility, teamwork and ball control with the Dragons. The coaches here have a combined 25 years of football experience, so it’s no wonder they know how to coax the best out of kids.