Are you heading Atlanta?

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Are you a ‘football’ player?
NO!
You should be its fan—world-cup?
Are you good, if not bad or worst, at playing soccer?
NO!
You should be anyway better at cheering-up ‘goal! goal! goal!?’

And yes, for those of you missing community-based ‘football’ tournament—the ones like those in Beldangi or Sanischare play grounds, especially after dispersed living through resettlement, it might be worth reaching Atlanta, GA on June 17-18. Reason: The first of its kind in Diaspora, Bhutanese Inter-State Knock-out Soccer Tournament, is expected to bring together what the organizer’s call ‘soccer players’ to rock the Diasporic play ground.

Ready to be kicked?

A statement sent to BNS by the organizing committee, comprised of independent sports lovers and volunteers, says the tournament is aimed at strengthening the social fabric by bringing together communities, youths, sports enthusiasts, among others.

The statement further said that the tournament will bring together players and sports lovers from all the States and provide fun and networking opportunities.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions made by soccer players and team managers in Bhutan or back in refugees camps and hope that we will be able to inject the same spirit and love of the game and create a precedent for future events,” added the statement.

Talking briefly over phone, Bikash Chhetri, one of the volunteers, said that such an opportunity was explored to bring together young Bhutanese, sports lovers, among others, and help them create motivation to continue their dedication to games and sports, in particular—soccer .

“We have been having conversations with Team Managers and State Organizations and thus far at least 17 States have expressed their desire to participate with more planning on joining,” said Chhetri.

Chhetri further stated that Bhutanese youths today face a steep task of maintaining the cultural and societal values in their transition to the American life and that the events as such would help by fostering friendships and will bridge the existing generational gap.

The tournament, according to the organizers, is also aimed at motivating a new generation of players who might have felt neglected considering that soccer as a professional sports is just beginning to entrench in the life style of Americans.

The organizing committee has further urged Bhutanese in USA—groups, organizations or individuals, to extend possible helping hands to support their endeavor and make the occasion a success.

Editor’s Note: Click here to read rules and regulations of the tournament.

By TP Mishra for BNS from North Carolina.

17 COMMENTS

  1. This kind of events will lead community towards unification. While some are busy dividing the communities in Atlanta, these folks here, look COOL. You guys have had a good catch. I love football much. Both thumbs up to Bikash and the team.

  2. Good to see Bhutanese youth keeping their sport talent live even in the new environment. I love to watch soccer games. I however, would like to bring few questions and comments that I have been receiving about this tournament. The news mentions that it was organized by volunteers, but why are they charging a huge amount ($300) per team entry fee??? And how about the transportation arrangement??? Think about participants from the corner of USA coming to Atlanta by themselves without any help or any kind of assistance from organizers.It is mentioned that already 17 teams have expressed their desire to participate and more planning to join.. say 17 teams will participate (17×300=5100) You could spend some of this money to provide a subsidized transportation or could waive or charge less for teams coming far from Atlanta. You so called generous voulnteers could have helped those participants at least with minumum entry fee or with other kinds of help. Most of the states where Bhutanese are resettled do not have an organization set up yet, and few are in the process to do so but with no financial assistance, the tender sprouting organizations will not be able to help the participants to go to Atlanta. Let me remind you that most of these participants are youths, many of whom are under 18 yrs. How would they be able to reach Atlanta and play soccer to entertain organizers without someone to guide them? What if they are driving down to Atlanta with a burning emotion to participate and met some mishaps on the way? You never know…. Rethink possible…

    Good Luck!

  3. Thank you for feedback. The concerns are valid and I will try my best to answer it.

    1. Registration: $5100 can’t be taken for granted since teams have expressed to participate but has not registered yet. The deadline for registration is 05/31/2011.

    2. Transportation: We have offered to pick and drop off players from airport. Ground transportation from apartments to soccer location is also arranged. This is the best we can do at the moment. The organizing team doesn’t have the fund to provide subsidized transportation or waive fees. In all accounts, it will be perceived as unfair by other teams.

    3. Team Leaders: We strongly recommend that all teams have their Managers or Captains to lead the team. The team leaders will guide the team. It is mandatory for all teams to have Captains/Managers throughout the whole process. Please refer to Rules and Regulations, Section Number 11. The Organizing team is not accountable for accidents or injuries, Please refer to Section 22. Perhaps, taking a bus instead will be more safe and cost effective. i.e. if such options are available.

    4. Costs: We fell the financial burden the communities will experience in trying to meet the registration and transportation costs . We can only hope that it will be overcome. The benefits attained from the tournament will outweigh the financial costs incurred initially in the long run.

    5. Financial Transparency: We are committed to Financial transparency therefore all financial transactions will be electronically posted to Google Groups, Individuals and Teams after the successful completion of the Tournament.

    The organizing Team and Volunteers thank you for raising the issue and we hope that we have addressed it adequately.

  4. Dear Writer,

    Congratulation for bringing the sports information which is the best of all kinds for unification and togetherness rather than conflicts and barriers as in politics. We need to update with such activities as well as with musical events too which really refreshes and soothes our tensed mind irrespective of any ages. But to be frank, time factor plays a major role for any celebration for its good preparation, anyway, let the dream comes true and be impressing one for all the Bhutanese scattered around the globe!

    Well Wisher
    Manchester,NH

  5. Great idea! I hope it is succesful. It is very important that while assimilation is occuring, there is still a strong connection to Bhutan, its culture and traditions for Nepalese. By the way, the Eritrean community has been doing this for many years, rotating cities and it has been an excellent program for them.
    If you do a cultural program, you may want to inlude Kamal Rai, a great musician and singer. Where will it be-Clarkston? You might want to request media coverage.

  6. No one is concerned about the amount of time, resources, expertise and connection this will take to make it happen, not to mention the stress of doing this on the side as volunteers. But of course, some not involved are already concerned about the money that is being “collected.” It would actually behove those of you getting to participate in the tournament to pay an honorarium to the organizers for taking the initiative and the time to organize this. No matter whatever comes in, the organizers will be spending some amount out of their pockets to make this happen. And all they will be getting in return will be snide remarks.

    While some are concerned about the remote possibility of the organizers making a dime or two (if at all), there are others who want to push forth their candidates of choice for certain things, thus putting in a wedge between Bhutanese.

    Of course the organizers will push on and make this a success despite the critics.