With summer in the rear-view mirror, many parents are dusting off their keep cups for another season of junior team sports. Played by 250 million people in more than 200 countries, football (aka soccer) is the most common sport for kids to play. Great for girls and boys of all ages, it teaches kids teamwork, agility and, of course, it’s super fun!
Of all the countries across the world, Brazil has produced some of the world’s most spectacular footballers. Pele, Neymar, Ronaldihno are all global role models and sporting icons of their time.
“Football is a household activity in Brazil,” says Cesar da Silva, founder and director of Brazilian Skills Soccer, Sunshine Coast. “Brazil has won the most World Cups, and every child in Brazil grows up with the main sport being football.”
Football in Australia is still finding its feet somewhat. You might go to a preschool sports program, but it’s not until you join a club at Under 6s that you would first start to play. And then, junior club football is usually coached by a volunteer parent, squeezing it into their already busy schedule.
Bringing that Brazilian passion and expertise to the Sunshine Coast, Brazilian Skills Soccer now provides a continuous pathway through junior football for local kids, and already with great success.
“We offer professional training for the whole pathway of junior soccer,” says Cesar.
“Kids can join us from 21 months old and stay with us until 12. We are a training academy, a club and a place to grow and excel.”
It all begins with toddlers
Kids can join Brazilian Skills Soccer from 21 months old via the toddler program. This is a fun introduction to sport and football that is aligned with the early years learning framework.
“We work on general coordination, motor skills, cognitive, communication, social skills, emotional skills, as well as introducing basic counting and colours,” says Cesar.
Practised through fun, play-based activities and games, the aim is to nurture a love for sports and an active lifestyle from an early age.
“We are not looking for kids to demonstrate good soccer skills. We’re looking at them having fun and learning, using their imagination to play and be active. They aren’t really aware they are playing soccer, we are collecting fruits or driving a racing car with a cone steering wheel!”
“This is my favourite age group to work with—we get to know them at this mini-soccer age, and then they’ll stay with us for years. It’s incredible to see them grow.”
Preschool soccer program 3.5 – 5 years old
From three and a half years old, kids flow into the Brazilian Skills Soccer preschool program.
“Our preschool program has the same approach as the toddler years, where it is still based around fun and games. Kids use their imagination to motivate and engage them in activities tailored for this age group.”
Children are also introduced to fundamental soccer skills, such as dribbling, running with and striking the ball.
“We create a fun environment that stimulates and maximises opportunities for enhancing and extending each child’s learning and development,” says Cesar.
Primary and club football on the Sunshine Coast
Once kids head to school, it’s time to move into competitive club football. And this is where the Brazilian Skills Soccer program really has the edge. Because, by partnering with Coolum Football Club, they now have their own teams in junior leagues—U7s to U11s.
“The kids from our Junior Academy, which is the next stage from our preschool program, can play for Brazilian Skills teams in the junior leagues. So, instead of playing competitive games separately through different clubs, they now play together as a team,” says Cesar.
“Kids train together, play together and grow together. We have a wonderful team culture, and the program has real scope to provide talented players with an optimal level of challenge and skills development.”
Of course, the Brazilian Skills Soccer program is not just for the talented kids.
“We run several schools across the Sunny Coast that cater for all skill levels, so no matter what your stage, you can learn and enjoy Brazilian-style soccer!”
Being coached professionally from 21 months onwards in the Brazilian style of football makes this unique academy an exceptional pathway for kids who love to play football.
“Also, coaching at Brazilian Skills Soccer continues throughout the year, not just during the football season. Most club teams only train during the season, so kids lose their skills in the off-season. Our schools train every week—whether in winter or summer!