Team Eighteen, a futsal side, is all set to travel to Egypt to train under the supervision of professional coaches.
Eighteen, a luxury construction project of Egypt’s Ora Developers, has taken an initiative towards the elevation of futsal in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
It also aims to set up a state-of-the-art academy for aspiring footballers.
Futsal, a small-scale variant of football, has mushroomed in Islamabad and Rawalpindi over the last decade and currently boasts the largest number of football astro-turf fields in the country. It is played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors.
Eighteen CEO Tarek Hamdy launched Team Eighteen in 2018 to train amateur footballers and provide them a platform. The idea was brought to life when Hamdy caught the sight of several footballers playing futsal at the Rodham Hall in Islamabad.
“My vision is to transform lives. I want to play my role as a change-maker and give back to the community,” said Hamdy.
As a skilled sportsman himself, with over 17 years of experience of playing professional football in Europe, Hamdy saw the need for tapping the potential that Pakistanis have for the game of football.
The investment is paying back as the team won eight out of a total twelve events in the past one year, including Ibex Cup by Leisure Leagues and LUMS Sports fest.
“The team’s dream success story continues to rise,” said Hamdy.
“Team Eighteen, today, is a program that has recruited young athletes from humble socio-economic backgrounds and helped them grow professionally.
“The program pays its players a monthly stipend, provides educational scholarships along with internships and jobs to help them become well-rounded individuals. It also provides medical insurance, transportation to and from the venue as well as sports kits required for them to play.
“If football academics are established in Pakistan to help develop the talent in the right way, it will reap many benefits,” he added.
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