Nadi forward Rusiate Matirerega fends off a Lautoka challenge during their pool B match of the 2020 Fiji FACT at Churchill Park, Nadi won 1-0. FFA pic.

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Footballers setup indoor soccer turf

Local Sports

Salesh Narayan and Rigg Kumar :SNL photoSalesh Narayan and Rigg Kumar :SNL photoFIJIAN footballers and cousins are partners in a new and modern indoor soccer facility.


Rigg Kumar and Salesh (Sal) Narayan have leased an 8,000 square-foot unit that includes a synthetic turf field, multipurpose studio, meeting room and training equipment.

The Uptown Sports Centre is a state-of-the-art facility in Newton.

The footballers saw the need for the sport to be played indoors, and keeping weather conditions in mind, the duo decided on the idea to give space for indoor soccer.

“We’ve been preparing this for about three years, working with the building owners, the city, getting all the permits and now we’re almost there, which is exciting,” said Kumar.

Narayan said what they found is that the majority of kids in Britain Columbia are playing outside.

“We know that a lot of them just don’t play in the winter, just because of the weather,” said Narayan, who is originally from Edmonton, where in the winter you just play indoors, so we came with an idea and saw a need for it here.

“Some of the programs have gone indoors, especially for younger kids, but they’d go into gyms, and this is more soccer-specific with the turf.”

The business partners who are cousins have also teamed up with longtime friend and football coach Paul Bahia, who operates BEST, or Bahia Expert Soccer Training, to create leagues and training programs at Upland.

“I’m helping with the operation as a consultant for programming,” Bahia said.

“It’s not open yet because we’re waiting for tenancy permits, and we had some groups in there but nothing for the public yet. We’re getting a lot of calls, a lot of interest in it.”

Narayan added that there are a lot of potential uses for the space.

“We’ve done some tours and people like it; they’ve seen the space. We are going through all that right now, for bookings. We have also talked to people with other sports too, like flag football and also some personal trainers who are interested in this space. We can do things like birthday parties too.”

Kumar said the final permits are in the works and once it is approved, the doors will soon.



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