CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Energy and joy hallmarks of the Sportsfest

HONG KONG (SE): Sport and exercise proved a good mix in generating a lot of vigour and prompting much joy among participants at the annual Sportsfest organised by the Simbayanan-KAMMPI at the Young Men’s Christian Association Wu Kai Sha Youth Village on January 30.

At an opening Mass celebrated by Father Johnson Dhos together with Father Arjay Venus at St. Francis parish in Ma On Shan, Father Dhos reminded people to always give thanks to God for every blessing they have received and bring a spirit of joy to the day of sport.

Rosario Araquil, the chairperson of the KAMMPI, invited all participants to take the promise of sportsmanship before the eight contesting groups walked the short distance to the Wu Kai Sha Youth Village, where all joined in a formal parade to upbeat music.

The groups that entered teams for the day were the Sacred Heart Canossian Prayer Group, St. Francis English-Speaking Community, Notre Dame Parish English-Speaking Community, St. Jude Filipino Catholic Group, Apostleship of Prayer English-Speaking Community, St. Thomas the Apostle Church English-speaking Community, the Holy Family Filipino Catholic Group as well as the Sunday Group at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Filipinos.

A muse and cheer-dance competition followed the march onto the field of competition.

The muses showed their highly developed ability in various disciplines, including boxing, gymnastics, taekwondo and ribbon dancing.

Elmie Jane Aclo, from the Sacred Heart Canossian Group, said she was happy to represent her group in the ribbon dance. She said she practices every Sunday with a dance team in Central called Star Pinoy Hong Kong and the hobby leaves her relaxed and feeling healthy.

Another ribbon dancer, Myrene Ognita, from St. Jude Filipino Catholic Group, combined elements of ballet, hip hop and gymnastics in her performance.

She said she had learned ballet since she was a child and later became a professional dancer in The Philippines. Today, she still dances as a hobby, which leaves her with a sense of joy and a healthy feeling.

Sister Felicitas Nisperos, the spiritual director of the KAMMPI, said she was glad to see the smiles on people’s faces as they were dancing, adding that because physical exercise is different from their daily routine of manual labour, it is important to foreign domestic workers as a way of turning off and cheering themselves up.

The Sunday Group at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Filipinos took out the first prize in the cheer dance contest. Louren Gareia said she believes that it is a good thing to hold the Sportsfest during the Lunar New Year holidays as it leaves more time for extra practice.

The Holy Family Filipino Catholic Group bagged the first prizes in the sack race, tug of war and the 400-metre relay, becoming the overall champion for the day. Ginalyn Ramos, from the same group, was also the champion in the muse competition.

The Sacred Heart Canossian Prayer Group won the 100-metre dash, while St. Thomas the Apostle Church English-Speaking Community took out the 200-metre sprint.

Notre Dame won the aerobics contest, while the St. Jude Filipino Catholic Group was the volleyball champion.

The best cheer dance costume award went to Sacred Heart Canossian Prayer Group.

Father Manobar Jyothi, the parish priest of St. Francis in Ma On Shan, gave his support to the Filipino communities during the morning. He said he was appreciative of their work and above all admires their good sportsmanship in both victory and defeat.

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