Umair Ahmad, founder of Lahore Freestyle Society (LFS), recently had the pleasure of doing an interview with me. LFS has made quite a name around Pakistan. They’ve performed in a number of live events and charity organizations. Today, I’ll feature a story of Lahore Freestyle Society (LFS), how the society began in the first place and how they started receiving milestones of success. This story will provoke the newbie’s in other fields (too) to get determined about their projects. A famous quote says: Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.
Lahore Freestyle Society (LFS) – Pathway from Beginning to Success:
Well, to start off, I’d like to tell you guys about how it all began here in Lahore, Pakistan. But before I proceed, I’d like to state a brief definition of Freestyle Football. “It’s a unique SpArt (Sport+Art) of doing creative and amazing skills from football from your upperbody (head, shoulder, chest), lowerbody (feet, knees, heels, thighs) and while sitting down (using feel or heels).” Why it’s called ‘freestyle’? Well because it’s an unlimited sport, no hard and fast rules. Just you, the ball, your mind and your control.
It the late 2010, when freestyle football was hardly known as a distinct sport (while it was on a whole next level worldwide), a well known international energy drink company took it’s 2-year Freestyle World Championship chapter in Pakistan. It was the time when the hype got started.
I along with two of my fellow friends (Raza and Anosh) were already into this sport. We used to have freestyle sessions together and discuss related things.
Observing the need of exploring this talent in Pakistan, we decided to make a society, that’s dedicated to teaching and gathering all the guys who do, or at least have the passion of learning and doing this.
We made Lahore Freestyle Society (commonly knows as LFS) on 1st February 2011. At that time we were only four. We started our campaign, visited different places of the city, did Live performances, pasted promotional stuff (posters, banners etc) all on our own. And after a few months, we had a decent number of guys worthy to be called ‘Freestylers’ in our society.
We used to have four proper training sessions every month. Most difficult part of the campaign was to get new guys started from the very beginning. As every game has it’s certain milestone points, you have to go extreme every time you want to achieve the next milestone. And that’s the beauty of this sport. Your best opponent is you YOURSELF, Well, by the end of 2011, we had a lot of freestyle sessions and meeting. And we had a lot of videos on our YouTube channel too. And the number of freestylers had grown to a nice figure of 20 by that time.
Seeing our success and the benefits of being so organized and managed. Our fellow freestyler from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Quetta and Karachi also made their respective societies. So, LFS can also be termed as the first ever (Pioneer) Freestyle Soccer Club/Crew/Society of Pakistan.
Our major hit, by which we got a lot of media attention was this video of ours. We made it to let the very public of the country know about our freestylers by their names and their category of freestyle. Basic idea was to make a proper introductory video for the public, equally enjoyable to those who know about this sport and for those too who do not yet know. I shot and edited this. And you can see the response by the number of Likes/Comments and Shares. Total number of views of this video are 97,613 to date (almost 100K, including virality and posts that were not made publicly).
After that we did a number of interviews, live performances for different events and charity organizations. In August 2012, LFS also contributed big time, in organizing the Redbull Streetstyle Championship. National finals were held at The Mall Of Lahore, and it was one of the best and biggest events of this kind in Pakistan. You can search the videos related to it on YouTube by the keywords “RBSS Pakistan 2012.” We, LFS has three major events lined up for the year 2014. Two are of National Level (National Freestyle Football Championship, Capital Invasion – Lahore), and one is of city level, whose purpose will be to create another fascinating video that has the capability to go viral.
Excluding the founding members (Umair, Razza and Anosh), below is the list of the current active freestyle of LFS:
- Muhammad Hassaan Farooqui
- Chaudhary Shoaib Ahmad
- Mukarram Waqas
- Hassaan Shahid
- Husnain Anwar Nainu
- Ali Tepu
- Ali Hassan
- Ahsan Dinio
- Tayyab Mehboob
- Zain Tariq
Thank You Guys keep making Pakistan Proud!
Interviewed by: Abdul Rehman Mian