PROFESSIONAL beach soccer player, Philani Gumede’s goal for the new year is to share his knowledge of the game with the youngest.
The Durban resident recently participated in the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship in New Beach as the coach of the South African team.
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“Being involved in the setup is a step in the right direction for me. Over the next five years, I hope to achieve more goals and develop my love for beach soccer, ”he said.
The 42-year-old started his soccer career in 2004. His participation was an integral part of the eThekwini Municipality men’s soccer team winning the SALGA Games and winning the league title.
He was then selected for the national team which competed in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Brazil in 2005.
Gumede said he now hopes to inspire young people to participate in the sport.
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“I donate 20 soccer balls each year to players in disadvantaged neighborhoods. I want to increase access to sport, but also foster a love for beach soccer, ”he said.
He added that football has given him the opportunity to travel abroad and learn more about the sport.
“I realize that sport requires talent and levels of fitness, as well as a particular skill set. Playing on the sand is not easy and if we start with the younger generation we can become stronger and more competitive. My hope is that one day we will become a world power in beach soccer, ”he said.
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