Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Parents give thumbs up to Kickalob academy

by Ting Tieng Hee and Perry Ragam

KUCHING: Parents of children at Kickalob Sports Academy are happy with its training programme, saying it has proven “very good and effective” in teaching the young to play football.

According to the parents, the programme has given their children the opportunity to learn more about the game and improve their playing skills.

They believe with individual coaching, the academy will take the children up a higher level.

One parent, Terry Enjeng, who has enrolled three of her children – Ryan Bunsu, Marcel Owen and Adrian Assan – is giving the academy’s coaching methods the thumbs up.

“I can see my boys have improved greatly in techniques since joining the programme last year,” she said.

Terry added that the programme not only taught the trainees technical skills but also gave them physical and mental training.

“My children are now not only more self-confident on the field but also in their daily lives.”

Kickalob administrative staff Zuriana Aba, who has three children – Syazwan Zakaris, Syazani Zakaris and Asyraff Zakaris – in the programme, also finds it beneficial as the children are taught to play with the correct techniques by experienced coaches.

“I’m very satisfied with the programme and I encourage more children to enroll,” she said.

Colin Arpino said his son Carlos joined the programmme last year and he noticed that he had made a lot of improvement.

“I can see my son is now physically fit and well-built.”

On the fees, he said they were “very reasonable” considering children were given individual attention by the coaches.

The fees are for three semesters according to the three school terms.

Meanwhile, the young trainees are also finding the programme fun and interesting.

Ahmad Umar Rashid Abdul Ghaffar, 16, said he joined the academy because he wanted to improve his football and hoped to play for his school one day.

The fourth former from SMK St Joseph, who enrolled at the end of 2009, initially found the training tough but gradually got used to it.

“I come for the training every Saturday and have learnt much about football,” he said. 

Preferring a midfield role, Ahmad hopes to play for the state and even the country in the future.

Mohd Hazeeq Syazami, 11, who studies at SK Rakyat, said after joining the academy in February last year, he had picked up the basics on dribbling, passing and shooting.

“I like the programme very much because it has taught me a lot of things.”

He idolises Liverpool’s Spanish striker Fernando Torres “because he is fast and a good scorer.”

Another trainee Mohd Soffian Mohd Azmi, an ardent fan of Chelsea’s Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, said he joined the academy in August 2009 as his parents wanted him to play in competitions.

“I love it here and have learnt many things about the game. I hope to be either a pilot or a football pro one day,” said the 12-year-old primary six pupil of SK St Joseph.

For Azfar Bazli Bakri, 13, a form one student at Tunku Putra School, the training is a good experience.

“I joined in August last year and while here, I have learnt to play the game.”

Before joining Kickalob, he used to play futsal but he likes football better because it has more varieties and is played on a spacious grass field.

His favourite player is Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.

“He’s a very skilful player … very good with free-kicks.”

Azfar’s dream is to play in the English Premier League one day. Even if he doesn’t make it, he does not mind playing for a major club, local or international.

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