By RENALDO DORSETT
THE Baha Juniors Football Club will host a season ending community-building event featuring various age groups with the backdrop of a festive atmosphere.
Over 80 teams will compete in the Baha Juniors FC Community Shield Tournament at the Winton rugby field on March 25 and April 1.
The tournament will feature play in six divisions. The Under-6, U-8 and U-10 teams will play 9am to noon while the U-12, U-14 and U-17 games will be played 2-5pm. Finals will be hosted on April 1.
The tournament was originally scheduled to begin this weekend. However, the high volume of teams led to the rescheduling.
“The whole point of it is to host a community tournament and this one is particularly special because you hardly get to see the different age brackets watch each other’s games and interact with each other. It can serve as an avenue for mentorship both on and off the field for the players and coaches,” said Marcus Cheetam, Baha Juniors club director.
“Initially, we did not expect this overwhelming show of support but the clubs have really had a great response. People have been stepping up and helping in every way imaginable.”
He added that the tournament will continue the club’s effort of adding further exposure and training opportunities at the developmental level.
“This is a first time venture but we have wanted to do something like this for quite some time. For Baha Juniors, the youth programme has been very strong. The U-6 won their division title, while the U-8 and U-10 both lost in semis.
“On a whole, the level of soccer awareness is on the rise. We had Tottenham form their programme that has brought exposure and for us, Baha is doing its third trip to Disney to participate and all these activities at different levels just raise awareness of the sport. The coaches feed off the energy of the kids and vice versa. I have had more people reaching out to me for their kids to become involved than I’ve ever had before.”
Event sponsors include EFG Bank and Trust, Starbucks, Gatorade, Aquapure and others. “We just want the parents and the kids to have an outstanding time. We want the kids to come out, be competitive and enjoy the day while getting some great games in. It’s like having a mini-fair but based around the sport.”