Eight years ago, the Tobago Beach Soccer Championship was first hosted and at the time, was the first formal introduction of the fastest growing version of football to T&T.
Eight years later, and it is safe to say that the game has taken hold, both in Trinidad and moreso at its unofficial home at Black Rock Heritage Park, Tobago, where it has made ‘Turtle Beach’ world famous for something other than the Leather Back Turtles which nest there yearly.
Out of that initial introduction by an organising committee calling itself BagoSports, which derived a Beach Soccer Association of T&T with Kyle Lequay as president.
Recently, Guardian Media Sports’ On The Line team attended the November 10-12 tournament to explore the nuances of the sport, observe the above-average connection players and to find out what is the vision and direction of Beach Soccer in T&T.
Lequay said, “This has been an exciting journey for us. It was just an opportunity for us to showcase a new sport to T&T, and since that, Tobago adopted us as our home.
If I can brag, T&T men’s beach soccer team is the number one in the Caribbean. This is a testament to the work that we’ve been doing coming right out of Black Rock. With our continued work we hope that we can qualify for the World Cup one day.
Our players have been seen globally, they’ve been invited to play globally, and we are now making our stamp on the world and should be taken seriously when it comes to beach soccer.”
From one which attracted mostly amateur participation, the Tobago Championship, is essentially the country’s flagship competition which has since evolved into a premier event, pencilled onto the calendar of some of the top teams and players from nearby territories and many more from abroad.
Countries such as Switzerland, France, USA, Portugal, Tahiti, Spain, Brazil, Colombia have been represented, not to mention Barbados, Venezuela, Costa Rica and the list goes on.
Women’s competition has also become a major drive of the organising committee seeking to maximise inclusion and development as many facets of the fraternity as possible.
Episode 4 of this season’s - On The Line show will be air tomorrow night on CNC3 from 8pm.