APPLEY hosted the biggest girls' beach soccer event ever held in the UK on Saturday.

The second Girls' Beach Soccer Championships attracted almost 200 players from across the Island and south coast.

Vectis Youth FC was victorious in both the Under 10s and Under 13s categories while New Milton was crowned the winners of the Under 15s age group.

It was the first time the three closely-fought age groups have played on the same day, with girls aged from seven to 15 years old competing, many for the first time.

The event was attended by Jason Campbell, the England ladies' beach soccer assistant manager, who awarded the trophies alongside England men’s goalkeeper Tommy Jackson.

Luke Kerr and Jess Cutler of Elite Soccer and the IW Beach Soccer Association have been working to help grow the game and provide more opportunities for girls to get involved in the sport.

They said: "We felt that while our youth competitions, which run every summer, are always very well attended, there weren’t enough girls taking part.

"So we decided to create a stand-alone event purely for the purpose of getting as many girls interested and trying the sport as possible and we were overwhelmed by the interest.

"We are already looking forward to next year’s event, expanding and continuing to offer beach soccer opportunities to girls from the south coast and hopefully even further afield."