SPORTS tourism in Tobago will be explored once again next month, when SW Touring, together with the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transport, Tobago House of Assembly, hosts the eighth Tobago Masters Football Tournament (TMFT) themed Fun in Sporting Paradise, from November 14-17, at Mt Pleasant and Plymouth Recreational Grounds.
The TMFT, tournament director Geoffrey Edwards said, "seeks to further expose participants and spectators to the unique identity of Tobago's culture, entertainment and culinary masterpieces."
The event has previously attracted some of TT's most famous past senior footballers in the likes of Arnold Dwarika, Leonson Lewis, Ansil Elcock, Anthony Rougier and others, as well as former international footballers from across the region, like one of St Vincent's most capped players, Kendall Velox, who spent much of his club career in T&T.
Grenada, Barbados, Guyana and T&T all have clubs confirmed for the over-40 and over-50 divisions. TNT X-Men are the defending champions in the over-50 division, which was contested for the first time in 2017, while Juventus, over-40 division champions in 2012 and 2013, and Defence Force Masters, champions in 2014 and 2015, have also confirmed their participation. Wildey FC, the only team from outside T&T to win the tournament (2016), will return. Other TT teams competing include WASA Masters and Sunday Krew, while some of the visiting teams include Georgetown Masters (Guyana), Real Old Men (Grenada), Lime Masters and Empire FC (Barbados).
A networking event for sponsors, players, supporters and other stakeholders titled Penalty Sport will be a feature throughout the event.
"We have added two initiatives to the TMFT brand," said Edwards.
"Firstly, (we've introduced a) TMFT market showcase where local entrepreneurs can promote and sell their products to our participants and the public. Secondly, we have introduced the TMFT Goes Green initiative, where we’ve partnered with the EMA (Environmental Management Authority) to incorporate recycling bins at both venues as we take the initial steps to joining the fight against wastage and for energy sustainability."
He said the intention is to build on the initiatives "which highlight the island's culture and protect its natural beauty."
The event was previously held over two days, but was extended to four days to accommodate the increasing participation by local and regional teams, particularly with the inclusion of the over-50 competition in 2017.
There will be entertainment provided by a rhythm section, a DJ, as well as live commentary, a bar and local and international dishes. Tournament registration is open.