by Cl. Evangelo D'souza
PUNE-MAHARASHTRA, DECEMBER 1, 2014: Football fever Pune was at its peak on November 29-30, 2014 as twenty-three teams contested for the coveted prize – the grand trophy of the Football Tournament hosted by Don Bosco Youth Centre. The under-14 football tournament witnessed teams, clubs and schools from different-localities of Pune participate in a two day event. This event organised in view of the bicentenary of the birth of St. John Bosco – the founder of the Salesians of Don Bosco, saw the participation of over 250 children filled with life and vigour.
With the camera set to roll, the two day dawn-dusk tournament was inaugurated by Fr. Nelson Carvalho, the Rector, of the institution, who invited the young lads to be not so much worried about 'winning and taking away the trophy'. He in fact asked the children to enjoy themselves while playing 'the most loved game on the planet'.
Rev. Fr. Carvalho kick started the tournament that witnessed sportsman spirit as well as an avalanche of goals - the elimination stage itself witnessed as many as 20 goals! While some matches appeared one sided there were some that saw fierce competition. It was thrill to witness kids from the neighbouring bastis, who came with full energy and vigor to support their teams in the grand finale.
The chief guest for the tournament was Mr. Ranjan Waribav, Archery Coach. Also present were Mr. Pradeep Pardeshi, the secretary of the PDFA and Mr. Abhishek Hiraskar, Marketing Executive for FC Pune City. With Koregaon Park Warriors lifting the trophy yet again, all the 23 teams were awarded participation certificates. There were as many as 25 different sponsors who went out of their way to make this tournament a successful. Most noted among them were FC Pune City, the ISL team which gave away T-shirts and take-aways to the winning teams.
This tournament was a good occasion for the sons of Don Bosco to educate through sports those to whom they reach out. 'One should not forget the hardwork and energy spent by the organizers in winning the hearts of the young. Hats off to them for a tournament well organized!!!'