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Bigger, better and with a new name – BISP Soccer 7s coming to Phuket for the 13th time

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PHUKET: There were just 35 teams competing in the first edition of the BISP International Football tournament in 2001. Thirteen years later there are 127 teams from eight countries coming to compete in the tournament, this year renamed the BISP Soccer 7s.

“There will be over 1,300 competitors, with all the coaches it makes for 1,550 people taking part in the event,” calculates Jeff LaMantia, BISP athletic director who was involved in the organization of the tournament from its very first edition.

“We’ve had teams coming back year after year with some performing in all 13 editions. I could watch it grow into a major sporting event,” he’s proud to add.

LaManza can see a number of reasons which made the tournament so successful, among them, the appeal of Phuket as a tropical island.

“The main reason why it succeeded is that Phuket is such a great destination. Also, the tournament is very well-organized, the whole community comes together to make it happen.

“The competitors are fantastic, coming from different parts of Southeast Asia. We have teams from India, from Singapore, from Brunei and more, which makes it a highly competitive tournament played in the spirit of sportsmanship,” he explains.

The tournament will see teams of seven players, including the goalie, competing in five different age groups, both for boys and for girls, starting from under nine years old up to 19. First, second and third place for every age group receives an award, and there is a best player award in each age category. Those on the podium receive trophies and medals.

“And the team that scores first place will take away a big banner which they can place in the gymnasium of their school,” adds LaManza.

This year the BISP international football tournament is coming under a new name, the BISP soccer 7s. Simon Ostheimer, BISP’s marketing and communications manager, explains the reasons behind the change. “We want to put the tournament where it deserves to be – on the international sports events map. Our tournament is the largest event of its kind and we believe it deserves to be recognized as such. Hence the new logo and the new name that reflect the world-class quality of the tournament.

“The spectators can expect some really good competition, there are very good footballers coming in and there will be a lot of great football to watch. On top of that there are food stalls, musical performances and lots of great atmosphere,” guarantees LaManza.

To experience it all make sure to visit the BISP campus. The tournament runs over two days starting Friday, November 7. The opening ceremony will take place at 7am with final awards being presented at around 5pm on Saturday.

The Phuket Gazette and PGTV’s ‘Phuket Today’ show, the island’s only nationally broadcast television program (aired daily on True Visions channels HD-79 and SD-107), are proud to sponsor this event.

— Maciek Klimowicz

 

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