Meet the Member - Rebaz

Meet the Member - Rebaz

Our team had the pleasure of meeting with Sandwell Aquatics Centre member Rebaz at a recent centre photoshoot. Rebaz was kind enough to share some of his valuable time to tell us his incredible fitness journey, football freestyling and as his positive experience at the brand-new centre.

Can you confirm your full name, occupation and what town you live in?

My name is Rebaz Mohammed. I’m a professional football freestyler and I live in West Bromwich.

Your job sounds amazing, how long have you been freestyling?

I’ve been Freestyling for almost 10 years now. I was a semi professional footballer until the age of 18, where I found freestyle football through YouTube videos and decided to practice a few skills to help with my football career. My love for freestyle took over and I quit regular football in 2015.

Is it true you hold Guinness World Records?

Yes, I hold 4 Guinness World Records.

In 2018 I broke my first Guinness World Record “the most Neck throw and catches between two people” with a fellow freestyler Ben Nuttal from Birmingham (previously 31, we did 41). Numbers 3 & 4 were in 2022.  I did two this year - number one was the same as above but this time in a minute (70 and my 4th was the most difficult one as it needs an over the ball motion “ most slap around the worlds tricks “ in 30 seconds, I managed 30.

I was the first person to add this trick to the Guinness World Records: “The most consecutive football/ soccer slap tricks“. They gave me 100 to do and I failed my attempt in 2019, but after a few months hard work I managed to achieve 149 consecutive in 2020 officially and 237 unofficially after receiving my certificate.

How can someone whose interested in freestyling learn those sort of tricks you do?

They will need to learn the basics and the fundamental tricks and watch tutorial videos online to master the basics. After that it’s all repetition- thankfully we have a great and close community in freestyle which you can learn from by contacting, following the athletes or going to meet-ups/competitions.

I personally train at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre now where I train five times a week, if you ever catch me around, I’m more than happy to help you learn and guide you to do the basics of Freestyle football just like I did with 3 other people where they saw me train and then started playing the sport.

Now one of them does it professionally and the other one trains with me consistently the gym (Sameed Asghar). He does have a Street To Freestyle organisation where he teaches the locals around West Smethwick Park on Sundays the basics of freestyle for free (@sameedasghar) if you want to contact him, and lastly Jai who’s the assistant coach now at my academy.

Who are the most famous people you have performed in front of?

I’ve performed for many big brands/names but my most recent one was the Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta for his son’s birthday party, I was also in the same ad as the Argentinian star Lionel Messi for Dubai expo 2020, Real Madrid kit release 2021, Premier league advert and most recently performing at the Qatar World Cup 2022, just to name a few highlights. 

Tell us about your fitness journey?

I started playing football when I was around 7 years old and since then I have always been very active- I moved to the UK from Kurdistan in 2012 at the age of 16 and played semi-professional football until 18 and from 18 until now (27). I’ve been training regularly, and fitness is a big part of my profession.

I’ve been a member at SAC since October 2023 after Participating in both world and national championships. 

Is there any reason you use Sandwell Aquatics Centre?

I came across the facilities to help me focus on my training this winter as my own home gym is very cold until Spring, and decided to become a member! Having a fantastic facility like SAC is a massive help with my motivation during the winter, as not too many events are going on in my sport, and being able to see others with a passion for fitness does motivate me a lot. 

What are your favourite sessions & why?

My favourite is definitely my freestyle trainings in the studio, as it’s my passion and lifestyle! The gym at Sandwell Aquatics Centre is excellent and perfect for my strength & conditioning. There is always a friendly and welcoming atmosphere and it’s great to see the whole community using this iconic centre.

How does SLT meet your needs? 

SAC opened their arms for me to continue my journey and I’m very grateful, I have also brought a few friends to the centre since then and continue to work together.

Do you have a favourite instructor who manages to get that extra bit of motivation from you?

I’m a very self-motivated person and I don’t have an instructor as my sport is free from having a coach or a trainer, but I do regularly communicate with the instructor’s at the centre and they’re always willing to help me whenever I need it. 

How do you feel attending the centre has on your physical & mental health?

Attending SAC has a massive impact on my motivation, as it keeps me warm during the challenging short and dark winter days, and seeing my other fellow friends and training together does help a lot as being alone always can cause depression.

What motivates you to keep going?

So many reasons to keep me going: Freestyle is my full time job and has gotten me some unbelievable opportunities, I represent UK / Kurdistan at competitions, which I am a 2x Vice UK champion, so I need to stay at the top and hopefully become a champion soon. I represent my people of Sandwell and have inspired at least 5-6 people to take on the sport and seeing them become professional is fascinating to see.

Having my own academy “ Eclipse Freestyle Academy” helping the local children, I also represent minorities so I want to be a good example and inspire the next generation to come out of their cultural bubble and become the best version of themselves. 

Can you offer and advice for anyone thinking of starting a healthier lifestyle?

My advice is to have a have fun but with a reason to be healthy and fit, this way you will push for that reason, it can be because of sport like myself, becoming a good example for your kids/ family, and generally when you look good- you feel good- when you feel good, you do good for yourself/ your environment and that all add up to having a happy life. 

Do you follow SLT on social media, what do you see as the benefits?

Yes I do follow SAC’s social media and it’s great to see different types of people/from different sport backgrounds working hard for a better lifestyle and that in itself inspires me.