The sports clubs have reopened and what better week to launch a new sport. ‘Airball’ is a cross between football and tennis – that is, tennis played on a tennis court and using tennis rules, but instead of using a racket or your hands, all you use is your feet and your head, like football.
My first question – the obvious question, it seems to me, is why? Don’t we have enough sports already?
Apparently not. Rebekah Wiltshire, who plays foorball for Brentford FC’s Women’s first team, says it’s more fun, more social and a good fitness workout, so good for training. Professional players use it to develop reaction time, control, touch and general fitness.
Images above: Rebekah Wiltshire, playing for Brentford FC
You’d get a lot more contact time with the ball than you would hanging about on a football pitch hoping someone passes the ball to you. It’s also easier to get a team together – like tennis, you play either singles or doubles – and because it relies on skill rather than strength and is not a contact game, it can be played with any combination of men and women.
The first Airball tournament is being held on Easter Saturday at the tennis courts at Gunnersbury Park. The organisers have four teams booked to take part and could take a couple more, if you are interested in giving it a go. As it’s in the open air, outside, they are also welcoming spectators, if you’d like to just see what it’s like.
After this trial tournament there will be more to come. The organisers PlayAirball.com are planning that this trial tournament will be lead to major regional tournaments and league competitions in the future.
Image above: Rebekah serving
See details of how to get involved on the Play Airball website. To take part in this one, email the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. You don’t need previous experience, though you do have to be 15 or over and be able to kick a ball over the net and get it to go roughly where you want it to go. It’s a free tournament. There is no entry fee but there is a cash prize of £150 for the winners.
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See also: The roadmap out of lockdown 2021
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