Futsal team - Ronan Heslip (front row, centre) and Morgan Ede (front row, second from right) from Indian Head played Futsal with Team South East at the 2023 Sask Winter Games.

Two boys from Indian Head had their first experience of the Saskatchewan Winter Games last week. Morgan Ede and Ronan Heslip played futsal with the male team from Southeast District.
The term “futsal” comes from the Spanish words for soccer (futbol) and hall (sala). It is the only version of indoor soccer that is recognized by FIFA. Besides being played indoors, futsal differs from soccer in that it uses a smaller court, ball, and goals. Five players per team are permitted on the court, with unlimited rolling substitutions. Games last for 40 minutes and are composed of two 20-minute halves. This was the first year that futsal was included in the Sask Winter Games.
During the Games in Regina, nine teams from districts across the province competed in futsal. Morgan, Ronan, and their teammates played against youth from Regina and Lakeland District on Feb. 23. The following day, they faced another team from Regina and Rivers West District, finishing eighth overall. It was a challenging tournament for the thirteen players from Southeast District since their team was less experienced.
“The Southeast team was formed a year after all the other teams, so they were by far the underdog, but they played hard and grew a lot throughout the course of the Games,” stated Tara-Leigh Heslip, who is Ronan’s mother and also the Community Development Consultant for South East Sport, Culture & Recreation District.
Although they did not bring home medals, Morgan and Ronan appreciated the opportunity to play in the Winter Games.
“Morgan really enjoyed the mini-Olympic atmosphere, staying in the athletes’ village, bonding with the team and getting to know so many new friends that will probably be friends for a lifetime,” his mom Lisa Ede told Grasslands News after the Games.
Both boys have previously played outdoor soccer with the Indian Head Eagles and Ronan regularly plays indoor soccer in White City. They look forward to continuing to improve their skills in the spring soccer season.
Morgan found the transition to futsal challenging since there are some significant differences, such as the playing surface (floor instead of turf) and the size of the ball. He enjoyed the learning process and the opportunity to play futsal during the Winter Games, however he will likely focus future attention on the sport of soccer.
“It was a great experience and he’s glad he did it,” Morgan’s mom said. “He absolutely loved the team he was with, the managers and coaches, so he might gotto Weyburn now for indoor soccer and possibly spring soccer.”
Ronan’s experience was also very positive.
“The Games were fun and exhausting and I’m glad that I was able to be part of them,” Ronan said. “My coaches were fantastic and made the experience very memorable and enjoyable. We all made new friends and hope to have the opportunity to play together again.”
He plans to continue playing locally while also exploring opportunities to join a more competitive league and increase his skills as a keeper, particularly after receiving many compliments from other coaches and players during the Winter Games.

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