The first ever competitive beach soccer tournament for primary school children will be held in Jersey this summer as part of an expanded beach soccer development programme.
The ‘Beach Soccer Schools Cup’, organised by the Beach Soccer Jersey Association (BSJA), will kick off on 18th May and will be played over the course of the summer at the BSJA site in St Aubin’s Bay, in front of the Old Station Café, with the final scheduled to take place in July.
Involving more than 50 primary school pupils, the new knock-out competition has been made possible through a new sponsorship deal between the Jersey Beach Soccer Junior Development Programme and Deutsche Bank.
In addition to the tournament, free weekly sessions for primary school pupils are also being held as a result of the sponsorship deal. They will be held every Tuesday throughout the summer between 12.30pm and 3pm, with teams from eight primary schools expected to take part.
Will Partington, recognised as an England Beach Soccer scout by the England Beach Soccer Association and Head of Beach Soccer for the Jersey Football Association, is the organiser of the BSJA Development Programme. He said:
‘We received really positive feedback from the schools that took part in the sessions we held last year and we expect more schools to get involved this time around, so we decided to launch, for the first time in Jersey, a tournament for primary school children. Beach soccer is a fast growing sport and great fun to play, and we are really grateful to our sponsors Deutsche Bank for enabling us to expand the beach soccer Development Programme this summer.”
Ed Fletcher, Director, Trust and Securities Services Division at Deutsche Bank, added:
“Deutsche Bank is a keen supporter of sports development initiatives and it is fantastic to be associated with beach soccer, a sport that is really grabbing the interest of youngsters in Jersey. Grassroots activities like this are so important. Deutsche Bank also supports table tennis and hockey development programmes across the Channel Islands and we frequently see the positive difference they make in terms of introducing young people to sport and building confidence and life skills.”
The BSJA is responsible for beach soccer in Jersey and runs league and cup events for youth and senior players. Affiliated to the English Beach Soccer Association, the BSJA has links with the England national team and FIFA, the governing body of the sport. UEFA qualified Will, who has played three games for Jersey, has also been invited to train with the England Beach Soccer team and the Brazil Beach Soccer squad.