Club Atletico Kimberley is an Argentine futsal club that is located in the Buenos Aires Province of Argentina. Kimberley has been known as a futsal organization that holds both men's and women's futsal tournaments. Senda spoke with Kimberley Futsal Club regarding their legacy and impact on the futsal community in Argentina.
Senda sat down with Gustavo Villegas, a futsal coordinator at Kimberley Futsal Club. When asked about the club's legacy of how it managed to exist for over 100 years, Villegas had this to say, "The sole reason is the sentiment and passion that the members provided over the years, from its founder, Julio Pianaroli, with a small group of people in 1906, to its current status. The key was always the love and commitment towards the club and fundamentally towards those kids in different stages".
Regarding the club's mission statement, Villegas responded emphatically, "Our mission is to provide a place of belonging, develop values, and form people outside the sport".
Gustavo also spoke about his specific role at the club as a futsal trainer, and how his instruction affects the development of youth futsal players, "I am the General Sports Coordinator and I work with other coordinators and faculty in every area within futsal. The impact we have always looked for is developing an identity and a sense of belonging towards the club in every athlete that works day to day. We work with every boy and girl in our academy to get them to that next step".
With respect to the personal impact that Kimberley Futsal has had on his personal life and what he has noticed that has changed over time within the club, Villegas remarked, "My best memories are the club forming me into an athlete and person. The club is my second home to this day. Thirty years ago, only the most stand-out players would play and it was a much more selective club. Today, we have an inclusive and integrated club that provides a genuine place for many children to get involved".
Women's futsal at Kimberley Futsal club has been a recent development that started in 2012. When talking about diversity and inclusion in futsal, Villegas commented about the importance of women in futsal, "Women's futsal in our club has been a dream that we have always had ever since we learned about Micaela and Delfina from Babi Futbol, two talented futsalistas who played at the same level as any male. They incentivized us to start women's futsal at our club. It paid off in 2014 when we won the Copa America in Chile for women's futsal".
When discussing further about the prospect of "Babi Futbol" in Argentina, Villegas explained, "Babi Futbol is historical in Argentina, as all players that stood out and stand out in Argentinian soccer passed through a Babi club". He also talked about certain famous futbol players that utilized futbol skills to help them at the professional level of play, "Fernando Gago and Andres Iniesta, for example, in their passes, control, and understanding of the game. I can cite numerous Brazilian players, as they all went through futsal when they were young, like Neymar".
Finally, Senda wanted to know what Gustavo thought were the most important qualities of a good coach. He gave his opinion, "Discipline in your work, credibility, convincing without imposing, managing a group, managing adverse situations, listening and understanding players, all without compromising your principles".
Senda would like to thank Kimberley Futsal Club for helping drive the message of diversity and inclusion within the futsal community, and for being one of the first clubs to start using our Fair Trade futsal balls in Argentina.