The 2020 BWCI Festival of Soccer Festival was held over the weekend of the 29th and 30th August, with over 400 children from Guernsey participating in over 130 matches across the weekend.
The 2020 edition of the Festival saw a change in format due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions preventing teams from outside of the island participating, but once again the Festival served to illustrate why it remains a highlight in the local sporting calendar with so many children participating across the weekend in friendly matches, whilst the Year 5 children competed for the BWCI Shield and Plate trophies on the final day.
Over the course of the weekend, the hundreds of spectators saw some fantastic team and individual performances, culminating in the BWCI Shield being decided with an excellent match between Northerners and St Martins. After the conclusion of the group matches, the BWCI Plate competition saw Vale Rec Green play against Rangers Raptors in the first semi-final, whilst St Martins 2 played against Rangers Wildcats in the second match. In the first semi-final, Vale Rec Green edged out Rangers Raptors with a single goal and would play against St Martins 2. In a close game, it was Vale Rec Green that would prevail and go on to lift the BWCI Plate trophy.
The Shield semi-finals included the top two teams from Group A, which were St Martins 1 and Rovers White, and who had both progressed without losing a game. From Group B, North Blues progressed as group winners having also not lost a game, whilst Sylvans Whites finished second on goal difference. The semi-finals saw Rovers White play North Blues and it was a well worked team goal that saw North progress to the final, whilst St Martins came through the second semi-final to set-up an interesting final. In a high quality and competitive match, North created the better chances and a late headed goal from a free-kick gave North the trophy and in doing so becoming the first Guernsey team to win the competition since 2006.
Festival Chairman, Martyn Banton, commented that;
“Once again the BWCI Festival has delivered another fantastic experience for all of those children that have enjoyed participating throughout the weekend. Obviously this year we have had a change in format to create a ‘Festival of Football’ due to the current situation, but as always we have witnessed some really impressive performances from individual and teams. Having not lost a match, and conceded only a solitary goal throughout the competition, North Blues were deserved winners but perhaps more importantly, the Festival has been played in a great spirit and hundreds of children enjoyed the experience. As always we are indebted to the Festival’s headline sponsor, BWCI, who have now sponsored this event for fourteen years because without this support, an event of this stature simply could not be delivered.
It is this continued support, which is greatly appreciated by the Guernsey Football Association, that ensures that the Festival remains one of the highlights of the local sporting calendar. In addition there are numerous other people that I would like to place on record our gratitude to, including Steve Hutchison and Geoff Ogier as two local Referees that gave up their time over the weekend, Simon Charlwood for his continued support, the volunteer coaches from our local clubs who gave up their time, and finally to the GFA staff and Directors who have spent a considerable amount of time planning and delivering another successful Festival.”
The provisional dates for the 2021 BWCI Festival are 17th and 18th July.
The GFA once again appointed Pierre Bisson as the official photographer for the Festival and to view photos from the weekend please click here; and use the password BWCI2020