Reem Investments announce partnership with Streetkings to bring street soccer to the Dome@Rawdhat
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 15 November, 2011: Dutch street soccer group Streetkings are setting up a permanent home at the Dome@Rawdhat in Abu Dhabi after signing a two-year partnership with Reem Investments which will see the freestyle footballers run workshops, tournaments and clinics to teach UAE residents some very fancy footwork.
The first one-day workshop, led by former professional footballer Edward van Gils on Saturday 19 November, will coincide with the visit of a delegation of children from The Anglo-Chinese School (ACS) in Singapore, part of Reem Investments’ efforts to promote sports tourism in Abu Dhabi.
The workshop will introduce Abu Dhabi sports enthusiasts to the art and skill of street soccer and encourage a new community of freestyle footballers in the UAE capital. This will be followed by a one-day public tournament on 10 December and a six-week clinic starting in January 2012.
Leading up to the workshop, the Streetkings stars will be performing at Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall from 6pm to 9pm on Friday 18 November to give UAE capital residents a sneak peak at the skills and tricks they could learn.
Streetkings’ presence in the capital promises to be a fascinating insight into the hugely popular sport of street soccer, which has turned players like van Gils into cult figures because of their ability to effortlessly manipulate a football in a flamboyant show of ball control, imagination and showmanship.
A former player with Dutch League side AZ Alkamar, van Gils set up the Holland-based Streetkings.eu organisation to create a new platform for the sport’s best talents to perform. The sport has become big business, and van Gils has appeared in commercials for some of the world’s biggest brands with famous players like Ronaldinho and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
“We have built a vibrant sporting community centred around the Dome@Rawdhat and believe this relatively new concept of street soccer will be well received by UAE residents,” said Bambang Sugeng Bin Kujairi, Chief Executive Officer of Reem Investments.
“Edward and his colleagues are incredibly talented and their enthusiasm for the sport is infectious. We hope the partnership with Streetkings will encourage more children to have fun learning new skills while staying active.”
Street soccer is seen as having learning qualities well beyond the vast array of tricks invented and perfected by players such as van Gils, and his colleague Lenny Macnack, an expert at Panna, the art of playing the ball through your opponent’s legs.
Rinus Michels, the Holland team manager who led Ajax to the European Cup and Barcelona to the La Liga title in Spain, has described the sport as “the most natural educational system that can be found.”
Commenting on the new partnership, van Gils said, “We can’t wait to share our freestyle skills with the people of Abu Dhabi following the response we received from a three-day exhibition we performed here in March.”
Under the terms of the partnership, Reem Investments has the right to expand the programme throughout the GCC after the initial launch in Abu Dhabi.
The Dome@Rawdhat has become a magnet for players of all ages, currently hosting more than 12,000 footballers and their families every month on its indoor and outdoor pitches. It is also home to the hugely successful Manchester United Soccer Schools which launched in October 2010.
Registration for the workshop, tournament and clinic is now open at www.thedome.ae or by calling 02 449 8480.