Eighteen schoolchildren take on freestyle football at the Bayer Innovative Soccer Class on July 3
- Children get to experience soccer with moves reminiscent of street performances-balancing the ball on the head, juggling while sitting, dancing to music, and more
Tokyo, July 4, 2014- Bayer Holding Ltd. (Headquarters: Chiyoda, Tokyo; President: Hans-Dieter Hausner), seeking to further raise its public profile as a company that supplies materials for soccer equipment and other everyday items, hosted the Bayer Innovative Soccer Class on July 3, inviting the world-renowned freestyle football team Cube and former German national soccer team member Guido Buchwald to serve as coaches for this most innovative lesson in the world.
Cube is a pioneering leader in freestyle football, which differs from regular soccer in that the emphasis is on thrilling audiences with dramatic ball handling techniques. For the first half of the class (60 minutes), the Cube team, who have held performances at venues across the globe, demonstrated their skills to participating children for about 20 minutes, and then helped each child to try out freestyle techniques. In the second half (60 minutes), special guest Guido Buchwald, a former coach of J-League's Urawa Reds and a past member of Germany's national soccer team, joined together with the participants in mini soccer games that provided them an opportunity to use freestyle techniques. The eighteen children had lots of fun playing with the former pro.
The children greeted the members of Cube with applause as the emcee introduced each player. Thunderous applause also welcomed the arrival of special guest Guido Buchwald.
Miho Oka, Bayer Holding Operating Officer and Head of Communications, delivered an opening message in which she called on the children to "enjoy soccer played with innovative techniques that put a different spin on the sport." Cube leader Marco then rallied the eighteen participating children with shouts urging them to pick up some new techniques while having fun watching and playing an unusual, tricky freestyle football.
Next, the eagerly awaited demonstration by the members of world-renowned Cube began, providing a rare opportunity to see their performance up close. The players came out wearing colorful masks, which they took off as they began performing techniques-such as heading and balancing balls on their heads-to the accompaniment of Japanese drum rhythms. The three Cube members gave the children a stunning demonstration of their moves, spinning the balls and balancing them on their backs and heads in addition to using traditional juggling techniques. One of the more innovative and imaginative skills performed was the delicate balancing feat of keeping a ball positioned on the head while climbing a ladder. After the performance, the lesson began with the Cube members providing guidance in simple juggling and ball control techniques. At first, the balls bounced all around the gym since the children had trouble handling them, but as the lesson progressed and the children became more accustomed to the techniques, some of them started showing mastery of trickier control skills.
After a rest break, the children split up into two teams and took turns playing in mini games that pitted them against Marco and Buchwald. The games gave the children the opportunity to put to use the freestyle techniques they learned in the first half of the program, with some of them making spectacular goals with their newfound skills. The team of Marco and Buchwald also delivered many fantastic plays, ratcheting up the excitement to a fever pitch. The event closed with the children sharing spirited high-fives with the Cube members and Buchwald.