Ashley “Floorise” Mkhize continues to enthral the world with his soccer freestyling skills. He is now the first South African freestyler to win a medal at the Superball World Open Freestyle Football Championship, in Prague.
By: Blacklight writer
Ashley just became the first South African Football Freestyler to win a medal at the Superball World Open Freestyle Football Championship. He came 3rd Place in the Panna Knock Out (a lightning-fast form of street football in which nutmegging your opponent is the ultimate goal) in Prague, Czech Republic.
According to sports reports, Ashley is ranked 13th in the world and 3rd in Africa, as a freestyler. He has showcased his skills in Dubai, Czech Republic, India, Zambia, to name a few, and has participated four times at the World Open Freestyle Football Championship in Liberec (Czech Republic).
In a conversation with the young star, he opens up about his life as a sports addict.
Blacklight: How does it feel to be the first South African to win a medal at the Superball Freestyle Championship?
Ashley: It’s such a great feeling. I have been attending the World Open Freestyle Football Championship for four years and to win a trophy on my fifth year is unbelievable.
I was participating in battles, which I couldn’t finish off because I got injured along the process. I was then left with just the Panna Knock Out battles, and I gave it my all. I could’ve done better, but I made a few mistakes and in sports when you make a mistake, you get punished.
I am still very happy because, over the course of the whole Superball, there has never been a South African awarded a medal. Hopefully, this will inspire more freestylers here at home to keep pushing.
BL: What inspired you to start experimenting with soccer freestyling?
Ashley: I was inspired by Brazilian soccer legend, Ronaldinho. I saw one of his videos, of him freestyling, and from then on, I decided that it was the sport I really wanted to pursue.
BL: What sort of return do you get from freestyling?
Ashley: There are a lot of returns from physical to mental, but most important to me is the joy I get when I am juggling the ball.
BL: What have been some of your career highlights?
Ashley: Besides performing for the President, I have to say performing at the closing ceremony of the Indian Premier League, in 2014. My most cherished highlight, though, was when I won the SA Champs and I became The South African Freestyle Football Champion.
BL: Aside from soccer freestyling, you also play blackball pool. Why is sport such an integral part of your life?
Ashley: I am a very competitive person, so sports allows me to bring forth that side of me. I also from a sport orientated family, so it just comes naturally. Apart from freestyling and blackball, I am also into bowling, soccer and futsal (indoor soccer). My life is pretty much centered on sports.
BL: What do you usually say to motivate young people to consider making sports part of their lifestyle?
Ashley: When I talk to people, I always tell them that sports have the ability to change your life, physically, mentally and financially. It teaches you respect and equips you with the ability to endure almost anything. Everything is a process, even in sports. It’s a great way to improve your life all-round.
BL: What sort of future do you envision for yourself?
Ashley: I just want to see myself in the development of freestyle football, establishing more coaching clinics to develop it because it has given me so much and taken me all around the world. Hopefully I can also establish an annual football freestyling competition.
For more on Ashley go to: Ashley-mkhize.co.za