7 Elite Academy will welcome 100 youth soccer teams to St. George this week as the organisation's biggest-ever tournament gets under way.
The competition, which starts on Thursday and runs until Saturday evening, will take place at Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park and Little Valley Fields.
The total number of entrants is 40 percent higher than last year, including double the number of teams from clubs not connected with 7 Elite Academy.
Wayne Scholes, Chief Executive of 7 Elite Academy, is looking forward to a lively atmosphere throughout the three-day event.
He said: “When we started planning this year's tournament, we wanted to make it bigger and better than ever – not just in terms of games, but off the pitch as well.
“Our team of staff has worked non-stop to develop a programme of events that ensures each and ever person who attends has an experience they will never forget.
“We have coaching staff who have worked in some of the biggest leagues in the world and they will be encouraging all players, on every team, to do their best.
“That is why this year's tournament is so unique. It combines the very best coaching facilities with a fantastic experience away from the playing fields.”
The Academy will be handing out welcome packs to teams when they arrive in Thursday, which will be packed with ideas on how to enjoy their time in the city.
Nick Nield, 7 Elite Academy Tournament Director, added: “I have been astounded by the popularity of this year's 7EA Tournament. St. George really is a fantastic venue for a winter soccer tournament and I consider myself lucky to call this place home.
“It has been enjoyable to grow up in this area and see interest in the sport of soccer expand. I really appreciate the St. George soccer pioneers who helped to make this a destination for a great soccer tournament.
“7 Elite Academy Tournament staff have worked many, many hours to make sure that all attendees and families have an enjoyable time. Thank you all for supporting it!”
Daren Woolstenhume, General Manager at 7 Elite Academy, wants to see as many teams as possible join in the fun this week.
He said: “I am so proud of the way our staff have worked tirelessly to organise every aspect of what is sure to be an incredible tournament.
“It would be just reward for those efforts if the teams supported the various events we have going on, both on and off the playing fields.
“One of the highlights is our social event at Buffalo Wild Wings in St. George on Friday. Hundreds of friends, family and players are expected to get together and celebrate a great tournament.
“If we can make sure the young players enjoy a weekend of great soccer and socialising, then we will have done our job. I can't wait for the tournament to start.”