A FIVE-A-SIDE beach rugby tournament took place on the Sabinillas beachfront on Saturday (July 10).

The tournament, which lasted the entire day (10:00-20:00), had players of a variety of skill levels, ages and nationalities. It was divided into four brackets: veterans, seniors, under 16s and the women’s teams. 

The veteran bracket was predominantly made up of ex-pats living in Spain, many of whom were ex-pro/semi professionals reliving their glory days, but this time on the beautiful beaches of Andalucia rather than in the muddy pitches of the UK. 

Beach Rugby1
– Alex Oscar, the Olive Press

The seniors, under 16s and women’s brackets were very diverse; players came from all around the world: Spain, Canada, Argentina and the United Kingdom to name but a few. Teams came from all across Andalucia to enjoy and compete, including a side from Gibraltar. 

For many of the teams and players though, this was their first time in a proper organised competition. Many had only first picked up a rugby ball this year, yet the tournament was still competitive. 

A number of these teams had also only been created recently. Ross, an ex-Durban Sharks player (South Africa), told the Olive Press that his team from Mijas (Malaga) was founded last year during COVID.

He said that it was difficult to begin with, as contact sports were some of the last to be authorised in the easing of COVID restrictions. But, he said that it felt “fantastic” to be able to play again and that the tournament’s atmosphere was “friendly” and party-like. 

Beach Rugby 2
– Alex Oscar, the Olive Press

The tournament’s party atmosphere was greatly helped by the presence of a nearby beach bar, a paella stand and a large barbeque. 

A series of such tournaments will be taking place in Andalucia over the summer months. The next competition is going to take place in Cadiz on July 17, then again in Cadiz on July 31 and the last of the summer will be on August 7 in Algeciras. According to Ross the skill level in the Cadiz tournaments will be much higher and far more competitive.  

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