Around 100 children have enjoyed an experience to remember as Wellington Phoenix ran their annual Singapore Airlines' Phoenix Holiday Programmes across two sites in Newtown and Petone last week.
At Te Whaea, a group of almost fifty excited children enjoyed a full day of various football skill sessions, instructed by Phoenix’s Academy youth coaches – learning new moves and then putting them into action.
On day two the kids took part in a mini FIFA World Cup tournament, receiving expert coaching as they applied the isolated skills they’d learned in a collective environment, with the final – a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Netherlands eventually going the way of the Spanish team!
Participants then received their certificates from Wellington Phoenix players and were pretty chuffed to meet some of their heroes and be able to demonstrate their new skills in front of the pros.
At Memorial Park, a big group of over fifty kids took part in another two day programme, and the Phoenix Academy staff were blown away by the passion for football and impressive skills on display throughout the course.
On day two the children were surprised by some of their heroes from the senior Phoenix squad who popped in for an informal ‘mini crossbar challenge’ – great stories for everyone as kids went head-to-head in a tricky skills challenge they’d be able to tell their friends about for years!
In the FIFA World Cup style tournament, Iceland and Japan contested the final with Iceland winning 6-3 in extra time after the scores were locked at 3-3 at the final whistle.
Wellington turned on the weather for both holiday programmes, and the hot sun made it hard work to be playing football all day, but the kids seemed to have endless supplies of energy!
Both holiday programmes were coached by youth coaches from the Wellington Phoenix Football Academy. The kids absolutely loved being instructed by the coaches and looked up to them as young football role models, something to aspire to in several years’ time. When asked who wanted to be a professional player, about 80% of hands shot up. We may have had the next generation of Nix players in attendance at our holiday programmes!
All kids received a new football, special t-shirt, drink bottle, flag and match tickets for attending the programme.
Wellington Phoenix would like to thank its Premium Partner Singapore Airlines for their generous support of the Holiday Programmes, a great way to help spread the joy of football with kids across the Wellington region.