“Packagoals have a lot of advantages. Using them means we can set up ten to fifteen pitches for 60 or 70 kids in next to no time. The goals are stable and can be secured easily, and because they’re inflatable, kids can run into them without any risk of getting hurt.”
Mr Vines says the goals also offset potential concerns for child safety, as highlighted by recent international injuries and deaths from falling portable metal goals. These incidents have seen football associations, including Football New South Wales, issuing guidance documents for the proper setup of portable metal goals to avoid injury. This issue can be avoided entirely through the use of lightweight inflatable Packagoals.
He says the goals also make good use of the club’s available storage space, with the goals able to pack away into the space previously taken up by four metal goals. The nets are also FIFA-approved, and durable enough to withstand powerful shots.
It’s also important for young players to have a lot of opportunities to score goals, both for their enjoyment of the game and their development, Mr Vines says.
“From a kid’s perspective, we all love seeing the ball hit the back of the net. You should have a goal with a net in every session. That’s what the game’s all about. In the end, football is a game about scoring more goals than the opposition. It’s not a realistic game without a goal.”
North Wellington Junior Football Club also makes the goals available at team trainings for older age groups, meaning even small-scale trainings can quickly be set up to simulate scoring situations with goals rather than cones.
The junior club has about 600 members, with around 200 in the youngest age group. The 2018 junior football season kicks off on April 7, with the First Kicks programme beginning on May 8. More information can be found at www.nwjfc.nz.
Photos provided courtesy of North Wellington Junior Football Club.