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Nathalie Schenk, the multi-tasks player

Nathalie Schenk is a Swiss international player for Beach Soccer but she also plays football and futsal, on top of her regular job. A "footballholic", passionate by the game. Read her profile to know more.

Nathalie Schenk at Euro Beach Soccer Cup

It might not be that obvious but in Europe, the most active country in Women’s beach soccer is probably Switzerland. The Nati was founded in 2008, a year before the Men’s team won the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and since then, it kept on growing. Beach Soccer Worldwide, the governing body for beach soccer, started women’s competitions in 2016 with the Euro Beach Soccer Cup and the swiss team reached the final twice, in 2016 and 2017.

Present this year again in Nazare in Portugal, the team coached by Franziska Steinemann finished third, beating England at the 3rd place playoff match. No big stars in this team, but a group of very committed players. Out of which Nathalie Schenk may well be the most representative of all.

Born in Bern in 1994, Nathalie comes from a family where sport is not necessarily that important. Yet, from very early on, she tried many sports. “I have tried a few different sports like tennis or badminton but they didn’t appeal to me as much because I really like the teamplay and camaraderie football offers. So I started to play football when I was about nine years old, at the SC Wohlensee” she explains.

But that was not enough for the young girl, who despite a certain shyness (or because of it ?), needed more action. So a few years after, she started futsal, and then beach soccer. Would she drop one of the three sports ? Surely not ! “Some of my friends were playing beach soccer, and it sounded like fun! Somehow I always wanted to try it. Moves like bicycle kicks caught my attention. I feel it is like football but in a complete different way, and I like that !”

So since then, Nathalie is juggling between her three passions : football, futsal and beach soccer. “I play futsal for Mobulu Uni in Bern, I play beach soccer for Grasshopper in Zurich and for the Swiss national team, and football for FC Rot-Schwarz in Thun. For each of these, it takes me about an hour to go training, five times a week”.

And if you think this is a bit of a crazy schedule, you have not heard yet the full story. Because all these activities are not professional, Nathalie has a job on top of it. “I work at a school, I take care of the buildings. I repair stuff, do the gardening, clean and do everything that’s needed at the moment. It’s very diversified”, she says in details.

The Women's Beach Soccer Swiss national team at the Euro Beach Soccer Cup

Exhausting maybe ? Not for someone passionate. “Sometimes it can be difficult. The timetable, the distance between the practice locations and the time spent can be challenging. Mainly because I’m in four different teams. So it is a bit ‘work - training - work’. And sometimes I eat and sleep between the two things’, she laughs.

With beach soccer now broadcasted live on mycujoo, Nathalie has the chance to share even more her game. “It’s great for my family and friends to watch me when I play. And more generally, it draws more people to beach soccer and gives our sport a bigger popularity.”

Women’s beach soccer is quite a new sport and as such need some time to develop more, and giving it some visibility will surely help. At the moment, there is no record of number of women’s players in the world. The road is still long but Nathalie is a believer, driven by her passion. “I love to play in different places, around the world. I want to win more titles, and get to know other football players with the same passion for the sport”, she tells us genuinely.

A fan of Luis Figo since her younger age “because of his style of play”, Nathalie has a very simple motto for her life. “I hope I can continue this lifestyle and play many more matches”. Well if she continues playing and scoring as she did in Nazare (two goals), we can bet she’ll have the chance to play many more indeed...

Photos courtesy of beachsoccerworldwide