Beachfront Resort Beach Soccer Easter Carnival

Publié le par Sarah Flavall

As Easter Monday dawned in Luganville, Espiritu Santo, teams started to assemble at the newly created beach soccer pitch at Beachfront Resort, on the edge of the Second Channel. With football as the national sport of Vanuatu and futsal one of the new emerging sports, particularly in Port Vila, beach soccer, the latest member of the football family has finally hit the shores of Espiritu Santo.
The Inaugural Beachfront Resort Beach Soccer Carnival involved the collaboration between Beachfront Resort and the Luganville Football Association. With beach soccer being actively promoted in Oceania, the opportunity to create a new event in the Vanuatu Sporting and Tourism calendar was eagerly picked up by Beachfront’s Dave Carman and Dave Cross.
Beachfront Resort was in fact the perfect location for such an event in Luganville, with access to one of the few areas of beach in the township. Works to create the beach soccer pitch started 4 weeks out from the competition and, given the fact that it was the first event of its type in Luganville, there was much celebration in having a pitch and competition created in such a short timeframe.
In total, 23 teams were present for the one day event, which saw a wide cross section of the community, from active football clubs through to business house teams, schools and community groups participating in the event and competing for cups and medals supplied by Beachfront Resort and a total prize pool of 50,000 Vatu from Laho Santo Ltd. The event was also a first for the Northern Island Meat Supplies sponsored LFA referees, who relished the chance to put their skills to the test in this new facet of football.
The men’s division was highly competitive with a total of 16 teams battling out for the Beachfront Resort Beach Soccer Carnival Cup in a knock-out competition. Competition was fierce, with many matches going to penalty shoot outs. In the Cup Final, Wilco Hardware faced the boys from Pump Station, who earlier in the month won the Santo Referee Futsal Competition. While the Wilco lads gave it their all, it wasn’t enough against the Pump Station team from Sanma FC, who are now considered specialists in the 5-aside competitions. In the plate final, Aore Resort, considered a dark horse in recent futsal events, took on the might of a recently victorious Sia Raga FC side. The Sia Raga boys proved too strong and swept aside Aore Resort in the final penalty shoot out.
Five women’s teams played in a pool competition which saw some established teams from 2007, such as Sanma FC and Side Riva United take on the relative new comers of College de Santo, PB Burn and First National Real Estate. Side Riva’s win in the final game against First National saw the local girls take the first place honours, closely followed by a very competitive Sanma FC squad and third place to First National.
In the spirit of the carnival event, mixed teams were encouraged to enter, with teams from TVL and Wilco Hardware. A three game competition saw the staff and managers of both business houses battling it out, with TVL eventually claiming victory over Wilco, 2 games to 1.
The carnival atmosphere continued throughout the day with music, poi dancing, canoe rides as well as the highly entertaining soccer showcased on the pitch. Draws for prizes donated by Vanuatu Agricultural Supplies, Putchi Store and Beachfront Resort were drawn throughout the day.
While this was the first beach soccer event in Luganville, it is by no means the last. The location at Beachfront Resort with grounds for picnicking and a safe swimming beach lends itself not only to players but families and tourists to enjoy an entertaining day of sport.
With the growth in interest in beach soccer in Oceania and the wider region, it is envisaged that the Beachfront Resort Beach Soccer Carnival will become an important fixture on the region’s sporting and tourism calendar. Ni-Vanuatu footballers are renown in the pacific for their skills- what better showcase for a glimpse of the football flair than on a beach in Espiritu Santo.

Publié dans Futsal & Beach Soccer

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