FOOTBALL PINBALL WIZARDS

There is plenty of serious work being carried out by the Chelsea Foundation coaches in Asia as part of the Here to Play Here to Stay tour, but that work can be fun too, not least at an event organised by club sponsor Samsung this weekend.

The location was a shopping mall in Bangkok with plenty of noise, plenty of the colour blue and big crowds building up during each day.

At the Central Plaza Lat Phrao mall in the Thai capital city, Samsung set up a giant, football-equivalent of a pinball table, big enough for fans and other passers-by to stand on and kick balls fired their way at Samsung targets.

It was here on Saturday and Sunday that the Chelsea coaches, aided by the much-photographed Stamford the Lion, acted as cheerleaders, team leaders and guides on how to score points on the pinball table, with tickets for Chelsea's opening pre-season match on Wednesday night the prizes.

Stamford in Bangkok


In another mall in central Bangkok called Mega Bangna, there was another activity which was more video-based, as can be seen below.

Mall


The attractions were open all day but it was from lunchtime when the Chelsea coaches started to build up the competition levels, with 'Team Hazard' winning out over 'Team Cech' in Sunday's first organised game, the participants having been divided into those groups.

By the end of the day hundreds of people were still surrounding the game, with even more having had a go.

'We've interacted with a good few thousand people, whether it is photos taken or actually taking part,' reports Ian Woodroffe, the Chelsea Foundation's international development manager.

'The coaches love these sort of events, and this Pin the Blues event with Samsung was special in terms of engaging with a wider audience in a different environment such as a shopping mall.

'It is fantastic to work with anyone who is interested in seeing what we are doing, and people that don't even follow football were drawn to the event. We attracted a real crowd in and got some really good feedback from everyone involved.'

Bangkok mall