TCIFA to commence 4th annual beach soccer league
The TCIFA is happy to be holding its 4th annual Beach Soccer League that commenced 11 October 2014. Games are kicking off at 4:30 pm every Saturday until 30 November 2014.
“Beach soccer which already has good momentum before the first night games; really was on the up and has a fantastic buzz about it,” said TCIFA Technical Director Mr. Craig Harrington. Speaking after a successful succession of games played by our local beach soccer teams Harrington went on to say, “The quality by all involved was excellent to witness and under the lights added a real intensity to the games which is needed as we approach the qualifier in 2015”.
With 6 local teams currently competing in the Men’s League, the Beach Soccer League was created from the Men’s National Team, which created two teams, the U16 boys (which is the academy team), the teacher’s team, and two teams made up of other players from football clubs on the island.
Concerning women’s teams for the Beach Soccer League Mr. Harrington went on to say, “There is not a big spark for this game amongst the women teams; but we are formulating ideas to trigger interest in the women teams. Although we have had in the past vibrant games played in this league by the women. We are looking to re-establish this interest in the very near future. So stay tuned.”
Leading up to this year’s League, TCIFA held a startup camp on 06 September 2014 as well as a Beach Soccer training course between the 26th- 28th of September 2014 hosted by visiting coach Betto Lima, who is the CONCACAF Manager for Beach Soccer Development. The course was a success with approximately 32 persons in attendance which was made up of players and coaches. The course was held over three days and included informative class sessions and outdoor interaction and games. Special attention was paid to the technical and tactical aspects of the game.
Beach Soccer is the most recent format of soccer that FIFA is heavily promoting throughout the world. The last Beach Soccer World Cup was held in Tahiti in 2013 and the next World Cup is in El Salvador in 2015. The game’s concept is built around fast action and lots of goals held in a fun and festive environment. It of course particularly suits the Turks and Caicos because of the linkage with our pristine beaches and ocean.
The TCIFA’s vision for beach soccer in the islands and our goals are threefold as we believe that all three goals are achievable in a short space of time:
To make beach soccer a common place activity and familiar sight on TCI beaches similar to how it is embraced in countries such as Brazil;
To make Turks and Caicos one of the top four beach soccer nations in the Caribbean region;
to participate in a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
Beach Soccer was first introduced into the Turks and Caicos in 2011 by way of a FIFA Beach Soccer course. Since then TCIFA has built the game up and have invested in the construction of a beach soccer training pitch at our Academy facility. We are recognized as the only Caribbean nation that has a Men’s and Women’s Beach Soccer League as well as running regular tournaments for our Youth Academies.
For 2015 the TCIFA has for the first time entered the Men’s National Team into the CONCACAF Qualifying competition for the FIFA 2015 Beach Soccer World Cup El Salvador.