Fútbol Calle national tour: Part 1

IMG_7294I had been looking forward to this day since my arrival in Chile – my first day covering something closely related to my documentary.

Accion Total’s Fútbol Calle are hosting the final stage of their national tour this weekend in Santiago. I went down to Plaza de Armas to see the organisation in action for the first time.

It was amazing how the whole of the Plaza de Armas was taken up by Fútbol Calle. Not one inch of the square was unrelated to street soccer in some form or another.

There were not just adult men there either. There were tournaments for teenage girls and mixed groups for the younger ones. It was a true show of diversity.

Very few, if any at all, were homeless – but if you look in the gallery section for today, you can see that some of the footwear was not in great condition.

I was very impressed with the resources used, even if some of the artificial turf was not at the best standard.

As well as there being three pitches for tournament matches, there were also small games in the surrounding areas for members of the public and competitors to enjoy. There was football tennis on offer, multiple foosball tables set up and plenty of room for freestyle practices.

IMG_7415You will notice in the gallery section that my fixer, Daniel, took this opportunity to play Footbag.

Incidentally, this went down well with the locals and he attracted a number of people.

He was clearly chuffed with the number of children that wanted to try what he was doing – it was pleasing to watch.

It was also the first time that I got to put my football camera skills to the test.

I just want to say how great a job the cameramen and camerawomen do when they cover football and sport – this includes photographers.

When covering a full 11-a-side match then I guess it is a little easier than covering a 4-a-side game in such a small environment, but it is a great skill I admirer nonetheless.

IMG_7271Travelling back to the accommodation was a different experience, however.

We got the bus back from Plaza de Armas and I must say there was a few bumps on the way – luckily not with another vehicle!

On the other hand, if we did not get the bus back then we would not have gone in to a local store where I found a packet of…NERDS!

Some of you will not understand, but Nerds are near the top when it comes to my favourite sweets, so to find them in Santiago was a great feeling. Although the price did not differ to that back in England.

Tomorrow I go back to Plaza de Armas for the final day of the Fútbol Calle national tour. It is finals day for the tournaments and hopefully I will get to speak to some people participating in the events.

I, of course, will be back tomorrow with more updates.

Buenas noches!

Kyle Waller

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