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Shelby Beck, who just completed her fifth season with the varsity women’s soccer team, is next going to be representing Canada at an international competition in Brazil.
The World University Championships (WUC), hosted in Goiânia, Brazil, features 37 events, one of which is a variation on soccer, futsal. The game differs from soccer in that the teams have only five players and the sport is played on a smaller, indoor field.
After rising to become one of the Fraser Valley’s most impressive strikers, Beck will now travel to Brazil as part of Canada’s first entry into the event. Futsal, Beck says, is a particularly challenging sport because it’s so fast paced.
“It’s a game that shows your skill level a lot more than regular soccer,” she says. “You are expected to make decisions and plays very quickly in tight spaces.”
Speaking about the opportunity to play on a world stage, Beck says Brazil will be a new experience. Although she has done a lot of travelling for soccer, it has all remained within the United States and Canada.
“Being able to go to a place like Brazil where soccer and futsal are so important to the country will be unreal,” she says.
The WUC is a part of the FISU, a federation that was created to harmonize the increased amount of university games and sports around the world. The competitions are held to celebrate student athletes and do so in the spirit of peaceful international competition. Of their events, futsal is one of the most highly attended.
“My expectations for the tournament would be to come in the best shape I’ve been in, in order for me to play to the best of my ability,” Beck says. “The plan is to hopefully come home with a medal.”
The futsal competition will be held from July 3-10.