Bahrain: Sacred Heart Church Konkani community hosts exciting volleyball, throwball tourneys

Pics: Loyd Roshan D’Souza

Francis Saldanha

Bahrain, Nov 24: Sports and games are an integral part of society and the community with which we live in. The Konkani community of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bahrain has been at the forefront to keep the folks happy by organizing a volleyball and mix throwball tournaments, for the parishioners on the occasion of celebrating St Francis Xavier Feast which will be celebrated on December 7.

On Friday November 16, there were about 14 volleyball teams lined up at the well-equipped volleyball court of the popular venue, The Indian Club, Bahrain for the first time in the history of the Sacred Heart church Konkani community. Some of the teams have been training rigorously for the last few weeks to participate and to showcase
their volleyball skills and to put up a good show to win matches to reach the finals to win the trophy along with prize money being offered for the winners and runner-up, knowing fully well of the competition and high level of matches being expected thereof.

The much-awaited tournament began with a welcome address by Arun Fernandes, SHC Konkani community core committee member followed by Florine Mathias, one of the well-known personalities and the senior most Konkani community member of the parish said few encouraging words to the participating teams specially stressing on the
importance of participating in the tournament itself was a reward as we all have been blessed with talents and good deeds, to share them with others and make this day beautiful. She wished best of luck to the tournament. Fr Xavier M D’Souza, parish priest, Sacred Heart church Bahrain invoked the opening prayers at the beginning of
the tournaments for successful events and wished the participating team members to play the games in the right spirit and enjoy this sporting event to the fullest. Sacred Heart Catholic Church Bahrain Konkani community leader Henry Castelino and the entire tournament organizing committee members, volunteers in attendance, Fr Xavier M D’Souza, inaugurated the tournament with a purposeful 'serve' to the opposite side of the court with a thunderous applause to start the proceedings with all those who were present at the venue. The volleyball enthusiasts who had gathered in large numbers to witness the upcoming matches were there as well in advance to have the vantage point to watch the games in view for the remainder of the day at The Indian Club, Bahrain ground.

The volleyball teams that participated were:
Mother Mary-Zinj, Salcette Spikers, Namma Kudla B, Sacred Heart Church, Yey, Being Votrashi KSC, Udupi Strikers, Big Dattus, Bellevision Bahrain, United Friends, Holy Cross Zinj, VS 2.1, Namma Kudla A.

As the tournament progressed, the spectators were treated to some thrilling moments with fascinating close contests between the teams in the league phase. Also, the passionate crowd had been kept in good humor by the well-known witty commentators like Arun Fernandes, Thomas Fernandes and Stany Fernandes with their bilingual
commentary throughout the day.

The first semi-final between YEY and all-conquering VS 2.1 teams comprising the Philippines players was equally good with very talented and skillful players, but the all-round ability of ‘VS 2.1’ team to play a near-perfect match was little too much to handle for the YEY team. Hence the best team of the tournament VS 2.1 defeating them in two straight sets with 15-10, 15- 7 to reach the final.

The other semifinal was again two sets match but the second game was a thriller where Holy Cross-Zinj team made a spirited comeback with spectacular display of teamspirit after trailing 3-14 to eventually losing out by 16-18 for a tired looking Sacred Heart Church team to bow out of the tournament with their heads high where spectators were treated to some enthralling moments to enjoy.

The first-ever Sacred Heart Church Konkani Community organized Volleyball tournament’s final match was played between Sacred Heart Church and VS 2.1 teams. As expected VS 2.1 team had some of the best-talented players like Mike, Mark, Ferdi, Mikee and crowds favorite Strawberry being the star player of their team with good effective serving, passing, setting and hitting makes them a complete all-around team in two straight sets to clinch the Inaugural Winner’s Trophy 2018. From The runner-up team’s young and talented Willom (Sacred Heart Church) was declared as the best player of the tournament.

Mix Throwball tournament matches were played on November 20, hence as expected large numbers of spectators thronged the venue well in advance and that too most of them with their families. As it was announced that each mix throwball team should consist of two female players who could match the playing skills with the
team members, made it more interesting to watch.

With the cloudy weather looming large in the morning but the never-ending spirits of the organizers made it possible to conduct the matches as scheduled and there were as many as 12 teams who participated in the entire day’s thrilling tournament.

The mix throwball teams participated were as:
Konkani youth, BMMI, Sacred Heart Church, Diamond A, Diamond – B, Royals, Bellevision, Karnataka Social Club Namma Kudla, Ushers A. Ushers B, Sporting FC Goa.

The tournament league matches kept the enthusiastic crowd happy throughout and at the end of the league matches out of the 12 teams, DiamondA defeated Diamond B by 15-12, 16-18, 16-14 in a neck to neck, high-on-spirits contest filled with a lot of suspense to outclass them in the semis to reach the finals and from other group
Royals caved in meekly by two sets to surrender the game to the opponents and bow out of the tournament.

In the final, once again Diamond A and Diamond B, two of the very best teams competed for the finals, played to the best of their abilities with a lot of sparks and kept the sizeable crowd entertained especially the long rallies and tactful serves were some of the best ones to see. At the end of it the experienced and seasoned players of Diamond A team led by their captain Alwyn finished the match in style in three sets thriller with a score-line of 13-11, 11-13, 13-11 to win the
first ever mix throwball tournament winner’s trophy.

SHC Bahrain’s Konkani community is indebted to the able guidance of the ever popular and friendly Fr Darel P Fernandes, asst parish priest and spiritual director, president Henry Castelino, coordinators Reema D’mello, Nickson Louis, Avinash, Sujay, Melvin, Vinay Sequeira, Alwyn Dsouza, Jacob Suares and all the core committee members and all those who were instrumental in organizing the tournaments on two separate days, especially match referees Jaya Kumar, Surendra, Naveen and Alwyn
(volleyball) Pavithra Shetty and Deepika Rathan (Throwball), line referees, well known and popular commentators Thomas, Arun, Hilary, Florine Mathias and Freeda, scorers Mark, Avinash, Coney and ace photographer Roshan Kateel and sponsors for the volleyball tournament: Magnalite Electrical Contracting Co SPC, Ebenezer Tower Contracting Co, Sun Gulf, Contractor Recycling Co WLL, Royal Petrochem, Modern Global Cleaning Co WLL, Al Awadi Town Construction Co WLL, Exelon and all the throwball tournament sponsors: M/s Modern Global Cleaning SPC, Delhi house Restaurant, Edward Castelino & Family, Cletus Clevan Anita Rodrigues, Destiny Kings Dance Crew, Michael Flavia D’silva, Sydney Correa, Harman Elsy Lobo, Hilary Gladys Tellis, James Jacintha D’silva, well Wisher, Cassius Pereira and executive committee The Indian Club, Bahrain, Olwyn Dsouza. Mysore Bhavan and Delhi House Restaurant (breakfast and lunch) for their interminable support for the success of both these tournaments had been highly appreciated by all.

Special thanks to The Indian Club, Bahrain president Cassius Pereira and executive committee members for allowing them to make use of the volleyball courts and other facilities at the venue for conducting these two tournaments on two separate occasions was highly appreciated.

Prize distribution ceremony was held immediately after the finals. The winning teams were presented with individual player trophies. Team captains were presented with winners and runner-up trophies. Prior to that SHC Konkani Community president Henry Castelino expressed gratitude to each and everyone who worked hard to organize these tournaments successfully.