A team from water company Slavnaya has won the Bright Beach Soccer Tournament, the first of many Bright Team events organised by the Minsk European Games Organising Committee (MEGOC) in the lead up to next year’s European Games in Minsk, Belarus.
The one-day tournament, which featured six teams in total, took place at the new beach soccer stadium built inside the Olympic Sports Complex. The teams were organised into two groups, A and B. Team “Art Stars” topped Group A following victories over a team of volunteer candidates for the European Games (8:0) and a team of journalists and TV personalities from the National State TV and Radio Company (2:0).
Team Slavnaya won Group B by defeating a team of journalists and TV anchors from the ONT channel (4:2) and a MEGOC team (3:0). The Art Stars finished in second place overall, with NSTVRC in third.
The player of the tournament was Yuri Tsyrkunov from the Art Stars.
Referees from the Belarus Beach Soccer Federation officiated the tournament. Federation Chairman Alexei Sychev said the quality of play was quite high considering that none of the teams regularly plays on sand: “I can see that the players have learnt the rules of the game because there were no gross violations, everyone knows where to run. It's a great idea to hold such a tournament on the eve of the first Euroleague stage in beach soccer, which Minsk is preparing to host. This will promote the sport. We hope that both the Euroleague tournament and the 2nd European Games will attract a large number of fans.”
Entertainment was also provided by the band Litesound, which is one of five artists still in the running to have their song chosen as the theme song for the Minsk 2019 Opening and Closing Ceremonies opened Bright Beach Soccer tournament.
Litesound’s Dmitry Karyakin said: “I liked the atmosphere of the tournament, which was filled with a sporting spirit. The players are amateurs so the main thing, in this case, was not victory, but participation. Our band is a big fan of beach soccer that will be in the program of the 2nd European Games. I remember how we played in some festivals around Europe and played for a musicians’ team in a beach soccer tournament and we won. That event was wonderful, and, I think here, it will be very cool.”
The Bright Team project aims to involve the people of Belarus in friendly sporting encounters and to draw public attention to the European Games, which will feature the following sports: 3x3 basketball, archery, athletics, badminton, beach soccer, gymnastics, boxing, canoe sprint, cycling, judo, karate, sambo, shooting, table tennis and wrestling.
MEGOC would like to thank "FlagBay" LLC, the Association Beach Soccer Federation and Olympic Sports Complex for their assistance in organising the tournament.