DUBAI- With a world-class roster of the emirate’s leading sports academies already enlisted at Dubai Sports World, the region’s largest indoor sports venue will also host the global launch of the pioneering KAFO Academy – a new, specialist football training concept and the brainchild of former Mali international striker, Frederic Kanoute.
After scoring more than 215 career goals at club and international level, Kanoute is using the knowledge and experience culled from a dazzling football career at some of Europe’s leading clubs to discover, nurture and fine-tune the game’s stars of tomorrow.
“The KAFO Academy is the pinnacle of my career – everything I have achieved in my playing days is now letting me look forward and help create the stars of the future,” said Kanoute, who enjoyed successful spells with Lyon in France, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur in England and, most famously, Sevilla in Spain.
“Football is a universal language that knows no borders or boundaries; it is uniting force which helps teach young people all over the world important life lessons about dedication, application, endeavor and reward. The KAFO Academy aims to instill these lessons in our students and help them become the best players and, more importantly, the best people they can be. Our philosophy is to use football as a mechanism to enhance personal development and we’re thrilled to be launching our international operations in the UAE at Dubai Sports World.”
Led by Kanoute and a highly-qualified team of professional coaches with European football coaching experience, the KAFO Academy will offer 11 weeks of football coaching throughout the summer at Dubai Sports World, which is partnered by Dubai Sports Council and runs from June 12 to August 30 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
The courses start on Sunday 15 June and are available for players aged 4-15-years-old. With classes available every day during the week (Sunday – Thursday) from 1-4pm, players will follow a development curriculum covering every key aspect of the game such as drills on turning, ball manipulation, passing, shooting, penalty shoot-outs and dribbling, themed directional practices, skills and tricks workshops and small sided games. Prices vary from AED 100 for three hours to AED 475 for weekly sessions. From 4-5pm, KAFO will offer adult 5 a side football tournaments and leagues.
“Our coaches guarantee a challenging, fun and positive learning experience for children of all ages,” added Kanoute. “The goal is to provide the right combination of learning through hard work and enjoyment to develop players with the necessary skills to achieve a greater knowledge and understanding of the dynamic game of football.”Before the weekly clinics kick-off, the KAFO Academy will formally launch its UAE operations with the inaugural Kanoute Cup. The 64-team, 5-a-side contest will be split into four distinct age brackets: under-6s, under-8s, under-10s and under-12s. Each team in the Kanoute Cup can register a squad of up to eight players and entry per team costs AED500. Team registration deadline is Saturday 7th June.
In addition to team prizes for winners, Kanoute added the tournament’s best player in each age bracket – identified by himself and his team of coaches – will receive complimentary enrollment in the KAFO Academy when the new school term begins in September.
“We’re looking to identify talented players across a variety of age brackets,” said Kanoute. “The best player from each age group will be given two terms of free entry to the KAFO Academy – that will give the coaches more time to work on building the winners into the best players they can be.”
Kanoute’s decision to launch the KAFO Academy at Dubai Sports World was warmly received by DWTC officials.
“For an international player of Kanoute’s standing to launch his dedicated football academy concept at Dubai Sports World underlines our promise to deliver world-class training programmes at the region’s largest indoor summer sports venue,” said Ahmed Alkhaja, Senior Vice President – Venues, DWTC. “We thank Frederic for his commitment and look forward to seeing him and all the KAFO Academy coaches at work this summer.”