World Cup dream begins at Horseshoe Bay

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  • Football vision: Pahn-ya Ratteray is helping Don Vickers achieve his World Cup Dream (Photograph by Bermemes)

    Football vision: Pahn-ya Ratteray is helping Don Vickers achieve his World Cup Dream (Photograph by Bermemes)

Bare feet versus cleats, sand versus the traditional football pitch ó beach soccer is coming to Bermuda. The public is invited to watch teams as they duke it out at Horseshoe Bay this weekend as part of the Bermuda Football Associationís dream of one day hosting the Beach Soccer World Cup here. Pahn-ya Ratteray spoke to Lifestyle about all thatís on offer ...

Whatís happening this weekend?

A community event filled with sun, sea and action. The idea behind it is to introduce beach soccer to the island and let the community know where the BFA is heading with this emerging international sport. Itís free and itís a chance to watch fun-loving play.

How many teams?

We have eight teams. KPMG has two teams, Colonial Insurance, Conyers Dill & Pearman, Chubb, the Oil Group, Bermuda Police Service as well as the BFA. Soccer is a community sport, so we wanted to involve another organisation and thatís why we chose [to donate all proceeds to local charity] Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda. Each team consists of ten players and we will have one pair from Big Brothers Big Sisters in the tournament.

Why did you choose Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda to collaborate with?

This event will also serve as a charitable event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, whose services are much needed among the youth in the community. BBBS were selected in light of the increasing challenges faced by our young people in Bermuda. The mentoring and guidance provided by BBBS is very much aligned with what the BFA does through the outlet of football/soccer. All charities play a vital role in Bermuda, and it is important that we can find ways to work together to support each other and the people we serve.

Why beach soccer?

Itís an emerging sport and the BFA want to introduce it to the island so we can participate in theFifa Beach Soccer World Cup in 2018. After this community event, we will then be formalising and implementing a plan to get a team prepared to enter. Itís an alternative. Weíre hoping to attract a broader audience than those who mainly follow club football. There is a need to establish a well-organised recreational league and it is our hope a national team can be selected from those participants. The recreational league will be accessible to companies and established clubs. Then we will look to possibly participate in the Concacaf/Caribbean 2019 Beach Soccer World Cup qualifying.

Whatís the difference between regular football and beach soccer?

Itís a small-sided game, 5 versus 5 or 6 versus 6, played on a small pitch compared with regular footballís 11 versus 11 on a bigger pitch. Itís barefoot versus football boots; you have unobstructed direct free kicks/shots given for all fouls on any part of the field. Itís a fun and family-oriented alternative to regular football and then there is the beach, the pink sand and beautiful blue water, and festive atmosphere.

Do people who already play football have an advantage? The level of skill is definitely transferable if you are a football player but it does require coaching. Itís more rigorous as far as athleticism because youíre playing in sand.

How did you get involved? Do you play football?

The assistant technical director, Don Vickers, approached me to bring this together with the broad vision to introduce it, get involvement of youth through after-school programmes or other initiatives and also to launch a league. This is phase one. Next is increasing awareness and introducing the teams. Don knows me as someone who is a project manager and wanted that skill set of someone to bring it together. There is a broader vision than just a beach soccer tournament. They needed someone to help so the momentum doesnít get lost on top of everything else the BFA is responsible for. Iím very keen on helping peopleís ideas come to fruition.

How do you see the tournament developing?

Increasing the awareness of the sport among the youth in Bermuda and formulating a team or league so Bermuda can participate in 2018. The idea is to also host international matches ó the Bahamas hosted the World Cup this year so itís not beyond our reach. It could be a tourism initiative as well.

What do you for a living ó anything sports related?

Iím between jobs at the moment and actively pursuing a career in project management. Iím not a sportsperson at all, which is why I think they needed me. Iím more administrative, driving things to get the task done.

Aim of the event?

For people to come and have fun and watch beach soccer. We donít normally see this on our beaches. Why not use them? It will be at Horseshoe Bay with two pitches marked out on the beach and play going on simultaneously. Itís actually called a corporate wellness beach soccer tournament. As part of that Monroe Darrell of M Core Fitness will do the slow warm-up for teams and spectators to get their mind, body and soul in position, and then weíll amp up the volume a bit with Fajr Bashir with Island Physique. We will also have a DJ to keep the crowd going.

Watch the tournament between 10am-6pm on Saturday at Horseshoe Bay. Admission is free. Food and drink stalls will be available. Should the weather be bad, the competition will be held on Sunday

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Published Aug 16, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 16, 2017 at 7:26 am)

World Cup dream begins at Horseshoe Bay

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