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Ponset helps to grow international beach soccer

Apr 6, 2015

When Josep Ponset Trenchs moved back to his hometown of Barcelona, Catalonia, after graduating from Flagler College in 2006, he traded in the sand of St. Augustine beaches for the sand of a soccer pitch.

Ponset is the head of competition for Beach Soccer Worldwide and general coordinator of FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups and FIFA Futsal World Cup, a variation of soccer played on a sand beach with five players on each side.

“This sport is growing a lot due to aspects like competitiveness and entertainment value as we play the whole match with music and promotion,”
said Ponset.

After starting as a competition assistant for the two leagues, Ponset was promoted to head of competition for Beach Soccer Worldwide in 2008 and charged with developing the sport around the world through events like the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which he has overseen since 2009 in countries such as Dubai and Tahiti.

Ponset first dipped his toe into the world of competition as a student in Flagler’s Sport Management program and as a member of the Flagler Saints soccer team.

While a student, he was able to secure an internship at the United States Olympic Committee’s U.S. Field Hockey Federation in Colorado Springs. After graduation, his experiences led him to a position in the multicultural department of Octagon, a multinational sport management company based in Connecticut.

“I have great memories of Flagler and the people. For me, they are my family in the USA,” said Ponset. “Starting with Coach (John) Lynch, they are the family that opened the doors for me to play on the Saints soccer team and have the chance to study and attain my dream career in sport management.”

Ponset is now heavily involved in making a push for beach soccer to be included in the Olympics, with the sport already included in the program at the South America Beach Games, Asian Beach Games and in 2015, the first Olympic European Games held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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