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‘Football on the island is definitely the game of choice by far’

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Bascome Football Leadership Academy celebrate success (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Kappa Classic again lived up to expectations as thousands flocked to the National Sports Centre to witness young footballers aged seven to 15 showcase their budding talents on the big stage.

A total of 106 teams participated among seven age groups in the four-day football festival, which event co-chairman Nigel Burgess has hailed as a resounding success.

“It’s been an amazing four days of football,” he told The Royal Gazette. “To get to the end and seeing the teams with this spirit and energy after four days is amazing.

“It’s amazing to see all the hard work the players, the families and the coaches have put in throughout the season culminate with this, and we are just happy to provide a platform for this environment.

“This is our first full tournament back from Covid, and back with 106 teams, which again goes to show the growth of football in Bermuda at the youth level. Thank you to all those involved and Kappa Alpha Psi is again happy to provide that platform for football to continue to thrive in Bermuda.”

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Warwick Academy girls taste success (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Burgess was also thrilled by the enormous turnout of supporters this year.

“The turnout was amazing,” he said We’ve had several thousand people here over the past four days to provide a family atmosphere for this event and again we are happy to provide the ability and the platform for this to happen.

“This children don’t have this atmosphere throughout the season and this is their time to show their talent and skills in front of a major crowd, and fortunately they come to play and the talent and quality of play was there throughout the weekend.”

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, was also blown away by the exciting display of talent on offer, the huge crowds and the continued growth of the popular event.

Young PHC players celebrate a goal (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“It was an unbelievable atmosphere and it’s good to see the level of support that comes out from all the clubs from all over Bermuda; the coaches, parents and referees,” he said.

“A big shout out to the men of Kappa Alpha Psi for putting this on. I think this is something like their 24th year, and as you can see it’s growing and the National Sports Centre has been a great place to host it. It’s got so big they are using North Field and the other field at Flora Duffy Stadium.

“It’s awesome, just the sheer volume of participants. You have the traditional clubs and school clubs that have come out, so definitely football on this island is the game of choice by far.”

PHC and Somerset Cricket Club were the most successful clubs among the boys’ divisions after each capturing two of the five titles up for grabs.

PHC Black defeated LB Football Academy 2-0 to clinch the boys’ under-7 title while PHC Black edged Dandy Town Brown 1-0 in the boys’ under-9 final.

Fantastic strike on day three of the Kappa Classic (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Somerset Red edged Warwick Academy Grizzlies in another close battle in the boys’ under -11 final while Somerset Red got past Warwick Archers 3-2 on penalties in the boys’ under-15 final after the two sides remained goalless at the end of regulation time.

“Obviously when we look at the trophies it’s successful, and we are appreciative for the hard work we have put in, which is starting to reap some rewards,” said Danvers Seymour Jr, the Somerset youth technical director.

X-Roads take on North Village at Kappa Classic (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

FC Bascome Blue claimed the boys’ under-13 title after edging North Village Red 1-0 in another evenly-fought final.

Warwick Academy Football Club I, Bascome Football Leadership Academy and Dandy Town Youth Academy captured the three girls titles on offer.

Warwick Academy celebrates a goal against BHS Basilisks (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Warwick defeated BHS Basilisks 2-0 in the girls’ under-9 final with Bascome Football Leadership Academy getting past Warwick Academy 3-1 on penalties after the sides remained deadlocked at 1-1 at the end of regulation time.

Young players take to the field (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dandy Town Youth Academy edged PHC Black 3-2 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 in normal time in another exciting battle that went right to the wire.

“I am very proud of my team because we had a couple of players away with injuries,” Shawnette Perot, the Dandy Town coach, said.

“We got off to a slow start with two draws, but we were able to bounce back, make it to the final and pull off the win.”

Plenty of action at the Kappa Classic (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Plenty of laughs off the field by Saltus team (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 17, 2023 at 7:51 am (Updated April 17, 2023 at 8:05 am)

‘Football on the island is definitely the game of choice by far’

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