More than 400 school children are expected to be involved in an expanded beach soccer development programme which will kick off in Jersey next month. As a result of a renewed sponsorship deal, the ‘Deutsche Bank Beach Soccer Development Programme’ will this year feature new competitions and training sessions and involve more schools and a broader age range of children.

Having been launched last year, the ‘Beach Soccer Schools Cup’, Jersey’s only competitive beach soccer tournament for school children, will this year include a secondary schools competition. Organised by the Beach Soccer Jersey Association (BSJA), the primary and secondary school competitions will both kick off on 3rd May, with the winners of last year’s ‘Primary Schools Cup’, Victoria College Prep, looking to defend their title. Fixtures 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.

Also as part of the Programme, free ‘Additional Skills Training’ sessions held on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer will be open to all school pupils in Years 6 and 7, who can now register with the BSJA to take part. In addition this year, pupils who show particular talent for the sport will be invited to participate in new ‘Advanced Skills Training’ sessions on Sunday afternoons.

Around 16 schools are also due to benefit from individual school training sessions as part of the Programme throughout the summer, double the number of schools that took part last year, whilst sessions have also been introduced for secondary school pupils in Year 7.

Will Partington, Head of Beach Soccer for the Jersey Football Association and organiser of the Development Programme, said: ‘Thanks to the increased support we’ve received this year from Deutsche Bank, we’ve really been able to ramp up our programme. As well as involving more schools in the individual sessions and cup competitions, our new training structure means pupils can now build on the skills they picked up through the Programme last year, which should help them get the most out of the sport. Who knows, perhaps we’ll see some of the pupils taking part this year progressing to England training sessions in the future.’

Ed Fletcher, Director, Corporate and Alternative Fund Services Division at Deutsche Bank, added: ‘As a result of Deutsche Bank’s expanded sponsorship of beach soccer this year and the fantastic work of Will and the BSJA, we now have an excellent infrastructure in place for pupils in Jersey. Deutsche Bank is a keen supporter of sports development initiatives and it is fantastic to be associated with a sport that is clearly building a strong following locally. Grassroots activities like this are so important 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.

Further information about the Deutsche Bank Beach Soccer Development Programme can be found at www.beachsoccerjersey.com or by e-mailing info@beachsoccerjersey.com.

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