VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- COOP®, a partner brand of SwimWays Corp., has officially signed on as the title sponsor for one of the largest beach soccer festivals in the world. The 2011 COOP Beach Soccer Championships will host more than 300 teams from around the world and is expected to bring 30,000 beach sports enthusiasts to the kickoff event in Oceanside, Calif., the second weekend of May.
The festival has grown more than 150 percent since its inaugural year in 2007, which attracted 8,500 participants. The 2010 event brought more than 30,000 people to Oceanside Harbor, including beach soccer teams from Japan, Portugal, Senegal and throughout the United States. According to a 2009 study released by the California Welcome Center and San Diego Convention Visitors Bureau, more than 90 percent of festival attendees are families.
"Beach soccer is the fastest growing segment of soccer, and our partnership with COOP is a natural because they provide top-quality products for beachgoers looking to make the experience at the beach enjoyable and fun," said Marc Koehler, tournament director.
COOP has been designing innovative outdoor toys, games and sports equipment for more than 12 years, including its quality neoprene Wetfoot® Soccer Ball and Sand Wikis protective footwear, known to many as "sand socks."
The pro beach soccer teams will compete for the grand $10,000 prize on center stage, and 29 additional fields will line the beach where youth teams ages 18 and under will compete in their respective divisions for medals and bragging rights.
The festival kicks off with a free kids' beach soccer clinic on May 13 from 4-6 p.m. at Oceanside Harbor. The first pro games will be held that evening as well. All teams and divisions will compete May 14-15, beginning at 8 a.m. both days.
In addition to the soccer competitions, free surfing and Brazilian Samba dance lessons will be offered. The Futboleros, known to many as the "Harlem Globetrotters of soccer," will return again this year to entertain soccer fans with their incredible acrobatic ball skills.
All festival activities associated with the COOP Beach Soccer Championships are free and open to the public. For more information about the festival, visit www.beachsoccerusa.org/.