International Student Involvement in Sport

Solent Futsal Player

SOLENTS Futsal Club has helped international students find a community in a foreign country

This year over 75% of Solents Futsal team is from overseas and differnt cultural backgrounds. Solent Team Futsal was founded back in 2013 and has been encouraging players from beginner and advanced levels to join and try out the sport ever since.

In the past four years , the club has seen a large increase in partcipation amongst international students, especially from Spanish and Latin American backgrounds.

With the major increase in player participation, the team has gone from only having enough players for one team, but now is planning to create a third team next year.

“We have a lot of open-minded people, we are not fixated on where people come from, we just focus on who’s interested in the sport,” explains Sean.

The club never specifially set out any initiatives to increase their interntaional player numbers, but culturally the sport has grabbed the attention of many students from countries such as Brazil, Portugal, and Spain where the sport is played at professional levels.

“We watch a lot of sports from other countries when we go out as a team, we try to encourage the rest of the team to watch different leagues to make everyones backgrounds feel celebrated,” says Sean.

Moving to a new country can feel isolating for many students, but with the help of communities such as the Futsal club, players have found a place where they are able to make friends and play a sport that reminds them of home.

“It’s really hard to be in a new environment where everything is different, especially since I am quite a reserved person,” says Antonio Santos, an international student from Portugal. “It was hard for me to get involved with any communities at Solent, but luckily the Futsal club’s coach Sean encouraged me to join. I am glad I took the opportunity,” he adds.

The Futsal team will be competing in Varsity this Wednesday, if you want to show your support, head down to Chapel Gate at Bournemouth!