New beach soccer event in Solomon Islands

Kwai Island is hosting the first-ever Kwai Beach Soccer Championship that began in the Solomon Islands on Tuesday, December 10.

The tournament was jointly organised by the Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Malaita’s Ward 16 and the Minister for Women, Youths, and Sports Preston Billy, alongside a Local Organising Committee (LOC).

The LOC said other beach games would be held beside the beach soccer championship.

There are 21 teams from central, east and north Malaita confirmed to participate in the tournament, the first of its kind in the Solomon Islands.

Aside from the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF), various police, health, environmental, tourism, women and youth organisations will also be invited to present awareness talks at the two-week event.

“The LOC, together with the Malaita provincial government through MPA Billy has taken this immense initiative to develop the community youths, and talented footballers using the beach soccer code, as its impact is still felt on the island following the success of five local boys who got selected for the national beach soccer team ‘Bilikiki’,” the LOC said in a statement.

“The boys were selected after their win in the 2016 Solomon Games Beach Soccer Championship – representing Malaita province.

“They went on to represent the Solomon Islands in the 2019 OFC Beach Soccer Nations Cup in Tahiti in June and three of them also participated in the recent 2019 World Beach Games in Doha, Qatar.”

MPA Billy said the event was not only to engage youths in sporting activities but it would also be part of developing potential beach soccer, beach volleyball, and triathlon competitors to represent the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Games 2023 in Honiara.

The Kwai Beach Games run from December 10-20. A delegation from the SIFF went to Malaita to observe and assist the LOC in running the tournament.