Kraakman spreads futsal joy

Fun, fast-paced and with a bright future – Hannah Kraakman explains why Futsal drives her forward.

Kraakman has helped shape futsal’s popularity delivering Futsal in Schools at Stonefields School in recent times and is effusive in her joy spreading the word about a game she loves.

“Coaching is very cool. Coaching in schools allows you to introduce the sport to youth who haven’t experienced it before so its fun to see participants try to do the things you coach them.

“You also see participants who have played before but its still good to see them have fun applying what they’ve been taught. My favourite part of delivering the courses is the enjoyment everyone has learning new skills,” she said.

Kraakman’s introduction to futsal was low key and came at a time when the sport was still finding its feet.

Despite the lack of serious competition at the time, Kraakman was hooked straight away.

“One of my friend’s dads asked if I wanted to play futsal when I was in Year 11 or Year 12. It was a social team and we had a lot of fun and it ended up with a tournament in Australia. Futsal is fun, fast-paced and you get time on the ball but at that time there weren’t many options for serious competition.

“We kept going as a social team then Auckland Football got involved and more serious competitions were developed,” she said.

While the aesthetic and beauty of the round ball game easily captures the eye Kraakman believes there are intangible benefits that add further value for player and coach alike.

She also says its helped stoke the fire of ambition as she eyes up more possibilities as a player on the international stage.

“Football and Futsal have taught me a lot about working with a team in different environments. This has been a positive in other areas of my life outside of sport. I’ve developed leadership skills through captaining teams. You have to think about more than your own game as a leader.

“I want to continue playing football with my club Western Springs and on the Futsal front I’ve had two competitions with the National Women’s Futsal league and the University Futsal nationals. My long term objective is to make the national women’s Futsal team and keep going in the Auckland Futsal competitions.”