By Ganesh Gurung
Worcester, MA – With the goal of motivating other young people to develop leadership qualities and acknowledge their different skills, youth from the Bhutanese Community of Worcester are organizing a soccer tournament for this summer that will bring people together from across the United States.
The tournament will span two days, from Aug. 12-13, and will take place in Worcester’s Bell Hill Park, with at least 25 teams of Bhutanese youth from different states participating.
“The objective behind organizing the soccer tournament is to focus on youth’s development, engage them in positive works, develop leadership qualities, develop a sense of brotherhood and working together to achieve goals,” said Chandra Kafley, president of the Bhutanese Community of Worcester.
For the first time in the history of Bhutanese soccer in the U.S., teams in this tournament are able to choose players from around the country, rather than only being able to use players from the same state, as in previous tournaments. Organizers hope this will make it easier for more people to participate and result in stronger teams.
“Open club’ games will bring [players with] advanced skills together for better performances and we will have strong Bhutanese teams, finally, which can compete with different soccer teams [from outside] the Bhutanese Community,” said Deepak Gurung, a 24-year-old spokesperson for the Bhutanese youth of Worcester.
The Worcester Bhutanese Community of Massachusetts, Worcester (BCM) praised the youth’s efforts to organize this tournament and agreed to assist them in all possible ways.
“It is good to organize this type of game once a year, because youth will be engaged in positive work instead of wasting time in [front of] screens and with friends doing nothing,” said Tenzin Wangchuk, a local member of the Bhutanese Community. “Also, they will have better opportunities in the future.”
Together, the BCM and the Bhutanese youth have decided to organize a musical program to raise funds for the tournament. Jeewan Gurung, a renowned singer within the U.S. Bhutanese community, will perform at this event.
“It is good to organize a musical program because it will give another opportunity to local Bhutanese youth who possess musical talents like playing instruments and singing songs,” Gurung said. “This way we can motivate all the youth from the community for positive work.”
Youth have also decided to include some extra activities during the tournament like short skits during breaks, which will provide additional entertainment to the public and will educate people on prevalent issues in the community, such as suicide, drugs, early marriages among youth and how to be a responsible individual and stay away from such devastating situations.
The local Bhutanese team from Worcester won the inter-state soccer tournament last year in Harrisburg, PA, taking home a cash prize of $5,000 and trophies.
“Each member of Bhutanese Community well-regarded their arduous teamwork and praised their historical victory,” said team captain Diwas Samal. “The whole community organized a grand community picnic to celebrate their victory where all the players were introduced and [community members] acknowledged them with merit and loud rounds of applause.”
The team is hoping to work together to achieve victory again this year on their home turf.
“It always needs formidable teamwork to win,” said coach Suraj Sunuwar.