It’s the last few weeks of June, and the FIFA world cup that brought new football vibes all over the world is almost over with only a few more weeks for the finals. Wherever you go, you’ll be guaranteed to feel the football vibes that was mesmerizing our nation. So, we thought, what better way to enhance this excitement of the people than to host a football tournament with a new twist, a Beach football tournament. Score by The Shore 2018 was the trendiest beach football tournament to hit the beaches of Colombo, organized by my club, the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School partnering together with the Interact Club of Zahira College, Colombo.
Technically, this is the annual “New Member Project” of the Rotaract Club of Achievers, which is assigned to all the new members of the year in order to get to know each other and get hands-on experience in projects to identify their skills that each of them possesses. For the past couple of years, the New Member Project had been unique and exciting, such as Bubble Football and Archery Tag tournaments in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Given that these two projects are unique in its own nature, upon discussion, we decided to go with Beach Football which adds a unique twist of its own to the traditional game and considering that it was the FIFA world cup season.
The event was held on the 23rd of June 2018, at the Dehiwala beachfront, adjacent to the restaurant, The Station. A total of 18 teams showed up on the day of the event. Although we were expecting teams only from Colombo, there were a few teams from Kandy, Wattala, and Negombo, which showed the reach of the event through PR. All the teams that showed up had some raw talent in football which they showcased throughout the tournament gathered a crowd to watch the matches. Teams from other Rotaract clubs and Interact clubs were also present at the event.
Organizing the event was not an easy task as it was challenging in terms of logistics, getting permission to host the event on the beach from the Municipal Council and the Department of Coast Conservation, getting permission to host sounds at the venue from the Police Station, getting a generator across the railway tracks and even the goal posts itself which was a nightmare that was sorted at the last moment by our Ex-Treasurer and the present President, Rtr. Hamdhan Sulaiman. The constant support of Interactor Shoaib Fawmy and his team from the Interact Club of Zahira College, eased most of the organizing tasks of the event, constantly lending a helping hand, especially in the last few days prior to the event and more importantly on the day of the event.
The matches commenced at 9 am, and it kicked off really well with some exhilarating action as both teams scored goals which ended up with a win for a team over the other by just one goal. The rest of the games too were as exciting as the first and only kept getting better. Some ended up in a draw and were decided by penalties. All the matches were officiated by four officials from Zahira College, where a couple of them took turns, every other match.
The gameplay was a condensed version of the FIFA regulated beach football due to the limitations of space available at the beach and time. As the restaurant had kindly requested us to finish the event before dark as it had to open the beach area for its customers,the finals ended by 5.15pm, with Team Sal Sal emerging as the champions after an intense match, winning the prize money of Rs 20,000/= in cash, gift vouchers from X-Sports arena along with the certificates. The runners-up, a team from the Rotaract club of IIT, Team Goal Riders were awarded gift vouchers from X-Sports arena along with the certificates. “Golden Glove” and “Golden Boot”, best Goalie and Striker, were chosen according to the talent displayed at the tournament and were awarded prizes sponsored by DSI.
At the end of the day, the feedback received showed that even though the minor hiccups, the club as a team, together with the Interact club of Zahira College, were able to pull off this trendy beach football tournament.
Rtr. Sandaru Bandara