The Freestyle Football Federation (F3) has chosen the Soccerex Football Festival in Manchester as the host of the 2015 UK & Irish Freestyle Football Championships, taking place over the weekend of 5-6 September.
Attracting the very best male and female athletes from across the UK and Ireland, including 3x World Champion and 5x UK Champion Andrew Henderson and 16 year old freestyle sensation Liv Cooke from Preston, the competitors will be competing head-to-head to try and be crowned the most skilful trickster in the UK & Ireland. Along with the freestyle battles there will be local entertainment and a live DJ to ensure non-stop action and skills on show.
After featuring in adverts with Ronaldinho at the start of the millennium, Freestyle Football has emerged into one of the world’s most popular sports with estimated 400million regular participants. The growth can be largely attributed to the rise of social media with millions of clips being uploaded to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, which has seen the likes of Sean Garnier, STR Skill School and SkillTwins become internet sensations.
Dan Wood, President of F3 had this to say about the announcement:
“Manchester is one of the world’s most passionate and creative cities whose history and culture is embedded in football, music and entertainment, so it was a natural fit to host the championships. The Soccerex Football Festival is a great example of those three elements coming together and we’re set for an amazing two days of freestyle, fun and jaw dropping action.”
Football Festival Manager Nick Hudson commented:
“Securing the Festival as hosts of the UK & Irish Freestyle Football Championships is a big coo for us and firmly positions the event as a hub for Freestyle Football. Some of the World’s best freestylers will be joining us in Manchester, for the two days of showing off some unbelievable tricks and skills, something everyone in Manchester needs to witness.”
The Festival, currently in its second year in Manchester, is growing in size and will be spread across three distinct areas, covering 1,600+ sqm. Free to attend, visitors will be treated to a 3 on 3 legends tournament, featuring the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha and Louis Saha, Panna Cages, freestyle tutorials, football activities such as Zorb football and digital gaming.
As world governing body for the sport of freestyle football, F3 own the World Freestyle Football Championships and have created a support structure that allows anyone to pick up a ball and not only enjoy the sport, but also develop their own pathway to becoming a professional. Events and activities are organised all over the world within the F3 network.
The Soccerex Football Festival has previously been held on the Jumeirah beach in Dubai, Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg and Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.