The Future of Futsal in Calgary is Now – by Toks Bakinson

Alberta Games - Calgary wins women's futsal Gold!

Futsal Debuts in Alberta Winter Games

When the first Alberta Winter Games were held in 1976 in Banff, Alberta, a very few (or may be none) knew about the game of Futsal like to how to play, what the rules are whatnot? The terms Futsal was adopted in the mid-80s when FIFA started hosting its original incarnations of World Futsal Championships.

Fast forward to 2020, Futsal has made its debut in the Games. More good news? Zone 3 (Calgary & Areas) swept both the boys & the girls titles. Way to go!

Zone 3 Girls Futsal Team wins gold at the Alberta Winter Games 2020 in Airdrie, Alberta. (Photo: Toks Bakinson)

Futsal Calgary talked to Toks Bakinson, Head Coach of the Zone 3 girls squad, on their journey and what it means to the growth of Futsal in Alberta. 

“It teaches skill and technique which is similar to the actual outdoor game. The skills can be carried from the small space to the bigger 11vs11 game. It is quick, fast paced, passes are crispier. It challenges players to make faster decisions. Every player are involved in the game so no one is hiding in the shadow of anyone."
Toks Bakinson
Head Coach
The team enjoys every moment at the Games. (Photo: Toks Bakinson)

In team sports, off-ball movements are equally if not more important. Players echo the coach’s takes, “I had so much fun playing Futsal with my team. It really helps your composure and foot-skills and you also have to always be moving in Futsal. Most importantly, you need to ensure you are in a spot where you have enough space to receive and go forward.

The boys team was coached by German Camacho and Will Feria, while Toks Bakinson and Stephanie Chin coached the girls team.  They conducted tryouts and only 12 players could make it.

ICYMI, Futsal is played in all the continents of the world by over 100 countries with 12 million players. Great soccer superstars such as Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, Messi, and Neymar grew up playing the game and credit futsal with developing their skills. Even our very own Team Canada National Women’s Team alumni – Karina Leblanc – also endorses the game.

Futsal was included in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. (Photo: FIFA)

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