June 23, 2013, was the beginning of the long awaited First Ever Sports Festival day for Accora Village residents.
Bayshore Community Association (BCA) once again took the lead in introducing all sports competitions on one ground i.e. Bayshore Park.
The festival had sports and games for everyone, such as soccer, badminton, basketball, cricket, swimming, and a variety kids’ activities. Bayshore Park was filled with community residents, cheering and supporting the players who were fired up to compete and take home Medals and a Trophy. The baseball diamond was ready for the cricketers with wickets appropriately placed and the batsmen ready to hit some 6s and 4s. They gave off the feeling of international teams competing with one another that naturally included an increased adrenaline rush to out-perform the other teams.
The freshly-lined soccer field was used extensively by 4 youth teams one of whom won the tournament. Each player demonstrated amazing team work and enthusiasm as they competed for the title of champions. The ground was full of soccer fever and cheers when the Ottawa Police Services and Accora Village FC United teams entered the ground. Both teams delivered an intense soccer match that had many on edge and applauding. These matches would not have been possible without the presence of the Professional Referee certified by the Ontario Soccer Association.
The dynamic athletic atmosphere in the Bayshore Court was due to both basketball and tennis. The youth teams, who competed in basketball, dominated the court with their intense play. Some were even deemed to have a lot of potential and were encouraged to continue the sport professionally. The FIBA Coach and International player Nazir supervised all the matches played. The City introduced progressive tennis to the community youth who, if interested, could apply to professional institutes and be guided by instructors.
Children ages 12 and below faced each other off at tug-o-war, mini-basketball, egg-spoon race, sac race, relay race, Hula Hoop, Balloon sculptures, music etc. The enjoyment that they experienced and the seriousness in which they played brought light to the whole festival. Balloon sculptures and Giant Tiger’s Mascot were also an important part of the festival for the children.
The event came to a close but not before all of the winning teams gathered to be rewarded for their team spirit and professional win. Due to unavailability of Y&E Director Asad, the volunteer coordinator Ameera took the lead and announced the beginning of the Award ceremony and arrival of all chief guests. The ceremony was opened with Canada’s National Anthem ‘O Canada’ sung by the community’s children that had the audience singing along with pride.
The BCA Chairman, Zarrar Ahmed gave a message in his speech “Together we can achieve our goal”. He extends special thanks to Councillor Mark Taylor for his support and cooperation for BCA. He then thanked and presented a token of appreciation plaque to the following sponsors of the event:
Denis Pelletier – General Manager Bayshore Shopping Centre
Jason Oberback–Owner of GT Express (the plaque was received on his behalf by Mona Amo, Assist. Manager GT Express)
Brent Mathew – District Manager, Minto
Sana Qureshi – Recreation Centre Manager, Accora Village
Nouria Issa – Owner of Koullan Somali Food
Yusuf Hayder Ahmed – Owner of Shawarma House
BCA has a special acknowledgement of Volunteers and they were presented with the appreciation certificates.
The winning sports team and other participant had sparkling eyes, looking at the tray full of medals. The winning participant was duly awarded including the kids who sang the National Anthem.
All the sports that took place came back to the main aim of this festival which was to explore the talent in Youth and bring the community together through sports. Participants in each game and/or match put their best skills forward, enjoyed, and were pulled together with the spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship.
BCA made it into Accora Village’s history (City of Ottawa) and aims to continue this Sport Festival as an annual event.