Windsurf legend Robby Naish visits Pannacademy in Amsterdam
It’s football… but not as you know it.
This new form of the game is called "Panna Knock Out", and adds a unique twist to one of the world’s favourite games.
The goal isn’t to hit the back of the net, but to get the ball through your opponents’ legs.
It’s described as a lightning-fast form of street football in which ‘nutmegging’ your opponent is the ultimate goal!
However, Panna Knock Out is about more than just nutmegs. It promotes social cohesion, an active lifestyle, personal development and participation in society.
Laureus World Sports Academy Member Robby Naish was in Amsterdam on Saturday (April 12) to join Dutch youngsters to try his skills at panna himself.
Robby, widely acknowledged as the greatest windsurfer of all time, was guest of honour at the Laureus PannAcademy project in Boerhaaveplein, organised by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation the Netherlands, where young people from the area combine playing panna with out of hours school lessons.
The panna football school is the brainchild of Mo Boutaka, the European panna champion, who not only instructs the participants how to play the game, but also helps them to achieve better results at school and teaches them the importance of values such as team spirit, respect and perseverance in their lives.
Laureus Academy Member Robby Naish said: “When you spend most of your time on the water, it comes as a bit of a surprise to take part in a football game like this. I was amazed how much skill and patience you need to move a football around as precisely as this. It was great fun taking part, but Panna is also a valuable sport socially. You need to be part of the team and work together towards a common goal. Patience, hard work and commitment are all valuable lessons they can apply in daily live”
Because he comes from the neighbourhood of the Boerhaaveplein, Mo Boutaka knows exactly how to talk to the young participants and get the best out of them. Originally a street football player, by playing in panna knock-out he developed into a coach and mentor for the young people. He now teaches his pupils how to play panna and also guides them in their daily life. He said: “In this role I offer the participants the possibility to play sport and start a face-to-face conversation. I help create the workshops which are offered by professionals and I ask the participants about their school results and organise activities for the neighbourhood.”
Robby Naish, who was an enthusiastic surfer and sailor in his early years, began windsurfing at the age of 11 and amazed the sport by winning his first world championship at just 13 to become the youngest world title-holder in the history of the sport. Over the next 16 years, he won a career total of of 24 world titles and over 150 events. He is also an accomplished surfer and kiteboarder.