The Gilette Beach Soccer Championships 2011 will be held at Pretty Bay, Bir?ebbu?a between the 29th June and 21st August. The event, which is being held in collaboration with the Malta Football Association and Kunsill Malti ghall-iSport, was launched on Friday during a press conference at the Le Meridien St. Julian’s.
Malta Beach Soccer Association president Mark Marlow said the championships will kick-off with an event which will be held on the 29th June and which will be in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund. Activities on the day will include the participation of the MFA Under-13 girls, the Paola Hibs Under-10 side, Futsal Bidnija, Ladies’ Beach Soccer, a Masters game featuring a number of veteran player, Goalkeepers Challenge, Zumba, a show by Zoo and the participation of Cheerleaders. Special guest for this event will be the Italian beach soccer national team captain Roberto Pasquati.
Taking part in the men’s championships will be sixteen teams. Twelve teams have already applied and the closing date for applications is June 29th. Teams will be divided into four groups of four teams. Five teams will be taking part in the ladies’ championship.
Matches will be held between Thursdays and Sundays. Activities on Thursdays ad Fridays start at 18:00 while on Saturdays and Sundays, activities start at 16:00.
Marlow explained that besides beach soccer matches, other activities being held include Zumba by Maria and Pedro, Cheerleaders, Goalkeepers Challenge by Mario Muscat Goalkeepers’ School and an International Beach Handball Tournament which will be held between the 29th and 31st July.
A Beach Soccer Academy which will be open for boys and girls aged 6 to 14 is also being launched.
Malta Football Association Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo said that since the days he was involved in beach soccer, the sport made big strides. He said beach soccer should be promoted further in schools and nurseries.
Vassallo promised the association’s support to the Malta Beach Soccer Association as the objective is to have a national team in future that would participate in the Euro Beach Soccer League and the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The MFA CEO revealed that the Malta Beach Soccer Association will soon make a request to the MFA for official recognition. He also said that Futsal and Beach Soccer will eventually be represented in the Council of the Malta Football Association following a request by FIFA.
Two FIFA Beach Soccer Courses – one for coaches and another for referees – will be held in Malta between the 22nd and 24th July. FIFA will be sending the captain of the Spain national beach soccer team Ramiro Figueiras Amarelle as an instructor for the coaching course.
On behalf of the Kunsill Malti g?all-iSport, Joe Caruana Curran said that the main priority for the organisation is to promote sport and when the KMS receives such requests for support, it gives its full backing.
Caruana Curran said that past beach soccer events were a success and the organisation of other activities throughout these championships will give an added value to the event.
The Malta Beach Soccer Association launched its official website www.maltabeachsoccer.com
Photos: Copyright © Martin Agius