Coaches Osman Kamil and Bass Dembele pictured with Ginga players

Wandsworth football academy hosts half-term camp next to Battersea Power Station

A Wandsworth-based youth football academy will host an action packed October half-term camp at Battersea Power League for children aged 5-12. 

Ginga Soccer School founder Osman Kamil, a UEFA qualified former Charlton Athletic academy coach, explained the aim of Ginga is to enable young people to access elite level coaching in a low-pressure environment.

The name ‘Ginga’, which directly translates to ‘sway’ in Portuguese, derives from the Brazilian footballing philosophy popularised by the likes of Pele and later Ronaldinho.

This emphasises playing with freedom and being expressive with the ball.

Osman said: “We want kids to be able to express themselves and play with flair.

“We want them to learn to play without the fear of failure.”

Coaches Osman Kamil and Basseriba Dembele have a team talk with Ginga players during a half term camp
Coaches Osman Kamil and Bas Dembele have a team talk with Ginga players during a half-term camp

The half-term camp, originally created to give full-time working parents an alternative to costly childcare, allows Ginga players to engage in different challenges, quizzes and multi-sports games such as dodgeball and capture the flag while also focusing on their technical football skills.

“All the kids will improve technically; we also want them to develop as leaders, be confident, make friends and improve their social skills,” said Osman.

“We focus on teamwork and learning to problem solve through these games.”

Ginga also run weekly Saturday morning sessions at Battersea Power League with regular attendance of 60 plus children split up into different age groups.

Parent Mark, whose son has been regularly attending since 2021, said his son has developed lots of friendships.

“He knows all the boys’ names, they get on really well,” he said.

“They’re always fist bumping at the end of the games, and that’s what you want really, you want your child to be happy.”

Based right next to the newly developed Battersea Power Station, Osman said the diversity of Battersea and surrounding Wandsworth has helped people from different backgrounds come together through football.

He said: “Our sessions are very diverse, we’ve got kids from all different backgrounds.

“Our kids get to engage and make friends with children that they may not mix with normally.”

Ginga Soccer School players present their trophies and medals at the end of a holiday camp
Ginga Soccer School players present their trophies and medals at the end of a holiday camp

Ginga boasts a strong network of professional football clubs to provide their most talented players a pathway into academy football.

“Some of our kids have gone on trials or been signed up for pre academies at some pro clubs, others have been recommended to join local grassroots teams and kick on from there,” added Osman.

For more information visit Ginga Soccer School’s website.

All images courtesy of Ginga Soccer School.

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