Trinidad and Tobago’s Under 19 Beach Soccer Men and Women team have completed their first international assignment with a satisfying level of success at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas.
The Women captured Gold with a 6-5 victory over Jamaica in the final while the men settled for silver having suffered a 6-2 loss to St Lucia in their final on the weekend.
The women’s final took place first at the National Beach Soccer Arena at Malcolm Park a
Despite trailing their Jamaican counterparts 4-0 early in the second period, an Adana Phillip hat-trick – including a winner 14 seconds from time time – ensured Trinidad the title before the men’s final brought the beach soccer to a close.
It proved a more one-sided affair than the women’s finale as four goals from St Lucia’s Linus Clovis earned his side the win over T&T.
Both nations will now go down as the first beach soccer gold medal winners in the competition’s history while there were mixed fortunes for hosts The Bahamas in the third-place play-offs.
The countries that took part on the Beach Soccer included T&T, Jamaica, St Lucia, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and Antigua/Barbuda.
T&T head coach, current Beach Soccer senior team player Chad Appoo was elated with the team’s successful run at the competition, particularly considering that it was both team’s first international assignment.
“Of course we are delighted the girls are returning with gold medals,” Appoo told TTFA Media.
”They showed great character throughout the tournament and especially in the final to come back after being three goals down. They deserve it and I hope it’s the start of things for ladies beach soccer in T&T. We don’t yet have a senior women’s team but I think naturally a lot of these girls can progress to that level,” Appoo continued.
“I think maybe the boys were a bit unlucky in the final but that’s the way the game goes sometimes. The sand is so unpredictable and if you don’t take your chances it comes back to haunt you but all congrats to St. Lucia. Most of these boys will go back to their grass football careers (most of them play school football/youth pro league) and that’s fine but I really believe in the next 2 years a couple of them can break in to the senior team.
“They’ve created history as the first team sport to medal at any international games for T&T but more importantly for both teams in that we keep them together going forward. Hopefully soon we will have an official beach soccer pitch/stadium to train on and develop even more players.”
Nia Honore – “The tournament was of great exposure for us and it was also a challenge that we looked forward to. We faced teams that were of high and average standards but each game had a different obstacle that we overcame and in the end we did what we came here to do which was to win gold.”
Jabari Gray – “The tournament has been a great experience for the team being our first time competing at such a level. I believe that each player gave more than 100% out on the sand but on the day that it mattered most, luck wasn’t on our side. I think everyone should expect great things from this team very soon once given the chance.
“I would like to thank the management and coaches of the team for the work they put into this, I would also like to thank the county for believing in us and mostly I would like to thank the TTOC for giving us this opportunity.”
1st: St Lucia (Gold Medal)
2nd: Trinidad and Tobago (Silver Medal)
3rd: The Bahamas (Bronze Medal)
4th: Antigua and Barbuda
Top Scorer: Linus Clovis (St Lucia) (Seven goals)
1st: Trinidad and Tobago (Gold Medal)
2nd: Jamaica (Silver Medal)
3rd: Turks and Caicos Islands (Bronze Medal)
4th: The Bahamas
Top Scorer: La-Tavia Russell (Jamaica) (14 goals)
Special Campbell celebrated for beach soccer success.
By Mark Pouchet (Express).
The Team TTO girls beach soccer team created double history when they claimed the gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas Saturday night.
Not only did they become the first team sport to win a gold medal for this country, but they also included the first special needs athlete within their ranks to achieve the feat: Tamika Campbell.
Campbell is a higher functioning athlete with a slight learning disability who represented the Special Olympics Trinidad and Tobago (SOTT) at the World Games in California in 2015 and the Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria earlier this year.
Campbell was discovered at the SOTT Seaside Games at Maracas in October last year when the Beach Soccer Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BSATT) collaborated with the SOTT.
BSATT president Kyle Lequay said Campbell -who plays floor hockey, basketball and athletics as well- stood out while playing with the boys.
“We later held a coaching course for players with special needs at Saith Park and again she was impressive, so when the TTOC gave the green light that there would be a Team TTO girls beach soccer team at CYG, we invited her to trials,” said Lequay.
At the screening session in April, coach Chad Appoo recommended Campbell- described as an attacking and competitive player by both Lequay and SOTT president Candy Berment-Harper - be selected to the final girls beach soccer team.
“She is a nice, quiet girl whose personality really comes out when she interacts with her teammates. Coach Appoo said she is very willing to learn and does whatever is demanded of her. We feel with a little more direction, she will develop into an even better player,” Lequay said.
“We are so happy and proud of her because it shows, with the inclusion of special needs kids not only can they participate at a high level but they can be successful once they have the ability and opportunity to work hard and push themselves. She created double history.“
Berment-Harper was also gushing bout Campbell's achievement.
“We were so proud of her because people in Trinidad and Tobago, they still really don't accept special needs children, but with this feat by the girls beach football and Tamika being able to contribute to their success, it really made the SOTT fraternity proud,” she said about Campbell who attends the Lady Hochoy Home in Gasparillo.
“It could not have happened to a nicer person , she is so helpful, is a team player and always wants to win. I really can only say complimentary things about her,” Berment-Harper stressed.
“It is just great to see her crossing over and being part of a regular team and being successful. Hopefully she inspires more of our athletes to follow in her footsteps,” the SOTT president concluded.