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22 Feb 2020
Real Münster found beach soccer academy is Senegal
Player/manager Gabriel Mohagheghi spearheads project for beach soccer development in Africa
The German beach soccer club, Real Münster, have founded a beach soccer academy in Senegal. The project is the brainchild of Dr. Gabriel Mohagheghi, who funds and coaches the club, as well as frequently competing as a player on the sand.
The Real Münster Beach Soccer Academy takes place in Fatick, Senegal over the winter, during the relative lull in the beach soccer season, in an African nation that is clearly bursting with talented athletes, as Dr. Mohagheghi explains.
“We have been very impressed with the physicality and fitness of the people taking part, and we are teaching them a lot in terms of beach soccer technique and tactics. Our aim is to be on site for eight weeks with four trained coaches, and to train with the Senegalese national team players.
During our first test run we trained once a day for a period of eight days and were pleased with the positive feedback of at least 25 people who took part. For this reason, we would like to invite them to train six times a week for training this year and order more balls and jerseys from Germany in advance.”
Up until 2020, Mr. Mohagheghi has financed everything himself and the cost has been considerable. However, this will change from 2021, as The Real Münster Beach Soccer Academy is seeking sponsorship to help improve and develop the project.
“Senegal is a relatively poor nation, and many people are unable to train at the academy despite their talent. This is why the academy was founded without fees or other costs, to offer all players a visit, a future and a contact point within beach soccer.
We will provide professional training, which will be based on theory (game analysis, tactics, technique, etc.) and later on, implementation of the theory in practice.
Our main target group is between eight and 30 years old, and after some discussion, the following groups are planned for the future: U9, U 13, U 19, U 23 and from 2021 on also for the group from 23 and over, for which we will bring more coaches.”
Over the last two years, Dr. Gabriel Mohagheghi made friends who loved beach soccer as much as he did, and compiled them into a small team in Germany. Today, Real Münster are regular attendees at the Euro Winners Cup and took part in the first ever World Winners Cup, becoming a globally respected and recognised club.
Now they are helping to develop beach soccer at grassroots level, and they have reinforcements from the Senegalese national team to help them both on the ground in Africa, and on the sand as players across the world.
Real Münster have two players from the Senegalese national beach soccer team on its roster, Barry Hamidou and Ibra Thioune. The players act as some of the main coaches at the academy, and these world-renowned athletes are a crucial link between the club and the local people.
“Beach Soccer is a sport for everyone, which is growing in popularity every season.” Mr. Mohagheghi added. “Everybody should have the chance to play and try it to make this sport even bigger. If other clubs are interested in supporting a good cause, be it through financial donations or equipment that is no longer needed, we would be very glad of the help, as we would like to continue to support the sport in Africa in the future.”