South African soccer touch in Sultanate

By Haridev Pushparaj — MUSCAT: Feb 27 – Football is Oman’s greatest love in sport. The Sultanate enjoys the ‘Beautiful Game’ to the hilt and the love affair with the sport is very evident with people from all ages and from all walks of life. One man driven by this passion for the sport is Wayne Williams. Wayne, who is from Cape Town in South Africa, works as English teacher at Mazoon College, Seeb and runs a community football clinic called Little Oman Lads/Ladies FC (LOL FC) near the Grand Hyatt in Al Qurum.
The club is for kids interested in the game and parents looking to get their children to be part of a weekend activity. True to its objective, the club functions every Saturday from 9.30 am to 4 pm and involves boys and girls from 5-11 years.
“We have kids under-11 years and it’s a fun get-together for them every weekend. They just love being there with their parents,’’ Wayne added.
It is an outlet for kids to enjoy themselves and does not work in a competitive fashion. The clinic is a platform for kids and parents to meet and interact and get to know each other.
940793Wayne has been in Oman for about ten years now and has been looking at expanding his plans for soccer.
As part of this endeavour, after a failed attempt of two years Wayne has now finally got an approval from the Oman Football Association (OFA) to bring a South African amateur team Norway Parks for a visit to Oman.
The event will be called the South Africa-Oman Soccer Tour.
“It has been my long-term plan and I have been trying to do that for the last two years but was not working out, so hopefully this time around,’’ he added.
The tentative plan is to bring the team by January 2018 for a week of matches with some Oman club teams.
Wayne is looking at the initiative as a cultural exchange exercise between the Omani community and the visiting team, apart from the obvious footballing exchange. The South African is in talks with the OFA for grounds to organize the matches.
Apart from bringing the South African team to Muscat, Wayne is also looking at taking an Omani football team in the under18, under-19 age group to South Africa.
Wayne is hoping this will help the local Omani players pick up a few skills from their South African counterparts. The Omani team will also be richer by taking in the whole South African experience as well.