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Thursday, September 10, 2015

SPORTS PROMOTE CHURCH UNITY

Article by Dalius L.L and
photos by Helda Japanis 
Sandakan: The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) through its Social Function Portfolio organised a Futsal tournament, an indoor street soccer sport on Saturday, 5th September 2015. The tournament was held at the Sandakan Futsal Indoor Court Mile 4, Jalan Borehole, which attracted 12 men's teams and 6 ladies' teams. 
Each team consisted of 10 members with 5 players playing for a 30 minutes game. The 180 participants of St. Mary's Cathedral Parish participated in the tournament comprising of young and senior individuals from the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) and teams from the outstations; Ulu Dusun, Beluran and Paitan.

In his welcoming address, the PPC Chairman, Pilis Malim remarked that playing games such as futsal serves as a unifying factor among all participants from different areas. He said that, 'sharing the common love for sport brings people together, irrespective of age, gender or race. Thus, sports do strengthen Church unity.' 
He complimented the organising committee for their tireless effort in uniting the parishioners of St. Mary's Cathedral Parish through sport event. He wished team members all the best and hoped they would play fairly and at the same time enjoy themselves. He hoped that the tournament would become an annual event, incorporated into the Church Feast Day.

“A sound mind in a sound body. Sport or any exercise is important for us to stay healthy. A healthy body will give rise to a healthy and active mind and soul,” said Rev. Fr. Thomas Makajil when officiating the futsal tournament. The rector emphasized that sport promotes unity among members of the community. He was pleased to note that the interaction among  the various community groupings represented in the event as a sign of communion, the one body of Christ. 

The tournament proper started off with the rector kicking the ball to the goal post manned by the PPC chairman.
Valeria Linggok, the chairlady of the Social Function Portfolio shared that the success of organising the tournament was not without hitches. The committee faced an uphill task in getting the communities and groupings to participate in the event. She added that. 'competing in the game is secondary, the primary purpose is to promote unity through a healthy environment. Such event serves as a platform for evangelization. When youths draw other youths, groupings draw members together and individuals draw other individuals, it forms part of the evangelization process. She hoped that in the future, more parishioners will participate in parish function.
BEC Fajar, the Champion of the men's category
BEC St Clara, the Champion of the ladies' category
BEC Fajar and BEC St Clara emerged as the champion of the men and women category respectively. The game ended at 4.30 pm with Deacon Stanley William Matakim and Pilis Malim presenting the prizes to the winners. 
Participating teams from St Mary's Cathedral Parish, including outstations.


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