by BIS correspondent
ANDHERI-MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 29, 2013: Don Bosco Youth Services (DBYS – Mumbai) took the initiative, as part of strengthening the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM), to organize the First BOSCO GAMES FEST 2013 on Sunday, 24 November, 2013, at the lush green sporting fields of St. Dominic Savio High School, Andheri. Twenty nine teams representing ten Salesian Communities took part in football, basketball and volleyball. To enable greater participation, the games were played under two categories: U-16 and the Open Categories. Sports is a great leveller; it brought to the playing field both the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the talented and the learners, the strong-willed and the faltering, the disciplined and the easy going, the young and the young at heart! Over four hundred enthusiastic sports lovers rallied together to celebrate the Don Bosco Spirit with fun and friendship.
A grand welcome song by the St. Dominic Savio Boarders set to tone to friendly sporting day. A colourful and creative opening ceremony followed. The DBYS Youth, dressed in attractive T-Shirts, led Mr. Sumeet Gupta, the Chief Guest of Bosco games Fest, Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Province, Fr. Donald Fernandes, Principal of Don Bosco High School and College - Pune, Fr. Crispino D'Souza, Principal of St. Dominic Savio High School – Andheri, Mr. Vivian Gomes and Fr. Glenford Lowe, Director of DBYS – Matunga, into a lively hall. Fr. Lowe welcomed the Guests of Honour and the young participants to the Bosco Games Fest and thanked the host community for enabling the games to be held here. The Lighting of the Lamp and a youthful Prayer Service, which brought out the history and values behind each game, then followed. Mr. Sumeet Gupta, in a very passionate style, encouraged the youngsters to play in the spirit of the game and to live life with zest and passion. Fr. Ajoy Fernandes officially declared the Bosco Games Fest open. The Salesian Youth Movement Theme Song was sung by the Dominic Savio Choir led by Mr. Hayden, while the DBYS Youth choreographed in the background.
The Games were played on a very friendly yet competitive note. Thanks to the Dominic Savio High School Alumni, the many DBYS Volunteers and the Referees, and the presence of a number of Salesians and lay collaborators that the entire BOSCO GAMES FEST could run smoothly. Sponsors came in from far and wide – mostly past pupils from Canada, Kuwait, Dubai, and parts of India to finance the event. In the course of the day, two young NBA basketball coaches took time to give a few tips to the young players.
The Dominic Savio Alumni were winners in Volley ball, while Don Bosco –Yerwada were the runners-up. The finals of the football were played on the newly laid astro-turf ground. In the U-16 category, Don Bosco Boarders – Matunga were declared winners, while St. Joseph's High School – Wadala were runners-up. In the Open category, Don Bosco – Yerwada won the title with DBIT – Kurla taking second spot. In the Basketball section, St. Joseph High School – Wadala defeated Don Bosco – Matunga in a thrilling match. The Winners received a Rolling Trophy and an attractive Don Bosco Hoodie, while the Runners-up were gifted with a Rolling trophy and a Don Bosco Bag. Prizes were also given to Most Valuable Players, highest scorers and Best Players in all categories.
At the end of the day, it was the Don Bosco Spirit that won the hearts of all. Mr. Israel Fernando proposed the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the DBYS Organizers and Volunteers. Bosco Games Fest is here to stay, its' gonna get better and more popular too! May the Salesian Youth Movement continue to inspire and draw many more youngsters.