#OmanPride: Talal Taimur Al Said, fuelling basketball dreams among children

More sports Saturday 25/February/2017 18:11 PM
By: Times News Service
#OmanPride: Talal Taimur Al Said, fuelling basketball dreams among children

Talal Taimur Al Said, the head coach of Next Generation Sports (NSG), a basketball training academy, is someone who has been fuelling aspirations among Omani youngsters to achieve greater heights in this sport.

Next Generation Sports Oman is a comprehensive youth basketball programme that aims to train children in basketball, not just as a sport but also to impart life skills through this initiative.

“Our aim is to create an environment where children can learn this sport and also enhance other skills, such as discipline and a healthier lifestyle,” said Talal Taimur Al Said. For this keen basketball player and coach, the love for the game developed right in his childhood. “I used to study at the National Private School and was a part of the school soccer team but once, due to some mistake, I left this sport and picked up basketball,” reminisced the coach, who later went to a boarding school in South Africa.

“It was in South Africa where I learnt that a sport is much more than simply running around in the field. Physical education classes there were more focused and that’s how I developed a keen interest, too,” Talal said.

In South Africa, he studied a three year course in sports management and worked as a coach in different schools and universities. Later, he started his own academy, MahikengBasketball Academy.

In 2001-2002, he played for the Melbourne University in Australia and coached at the International School of South Africa in 2010-2014.However, despite all the success he achieved in different parts of the world, Talal had an unfulfilled dream. Being a certified level 2 FIBA Asia coach, he wanted to share his expertise in his own country.

“I always wanted to come back to Oman, my home country, and do something for the children here in basketball,” Talal said. Armed with experience and expertise, the idea of starting a sports academy took shape with his friend Qais Khalid Al Khabouri, also helping. They named it Next Generation Sports.

“At NGS, we focus on shaping tomorrow’s leaders through sports based player development, placement and league activities for children in the age group of 7 to 18 years. Apart from its basketball programme, the NSG also provides fitness training for youth.

“We also go through exercise and stretching routines, along with building stamina and offering weight loss programme,” said Talal.

Highlighting the importance of sports Talal said he feels that it teaches to work as a member of a team, makes one adept at anger management, and also helps deal with other behavioural issues.

“When it comes to children I feel that it is inappropriate to punish bad behaviour. Instead, it is important to show them the right way. As a coach, it is our duty to keep them motivated and teach them to play fair,” said the coach.

“A good shot at the game can increase your self-esteem and will help you gain more confidence,” added Talal. While the first training session at the Sultan School came to a close in December last year, Next Generation Sports has started a new session at Alruwad International School in Al Khoudh.

“We take children between the ages of 5 and 18 years while the timings are from 9am to 2pm. Our whole intention is to add fun even as children pick up the fundamentals of basketball,” said the coach who was till recently working with the National Youth team and the ministry’s sports programme in Muscat.

While currently, Next Generation Sports is only focusing on basketball, Talal has plans to branch out to other sports, such as tennis and football, in the years to come.