Sikh Sport UK Vaisakhi Football Tournament
Saturday 18th April 2015
The 7th Annual Sikh Sport UK 5-a-Side Football Tournament took place at Leeds Sport Centre on Saturday 18th April. And what a success it was! We had teams coming from far and wide; Preston, Southampton, Birmingham amongst others. As well as a good cohort of local teams from Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield. A very competitive day in all the age groups of U12s, U16s, and Open Age resulted in Harehills Place winning their 2nd Open Age Trophy, Chapeltown Lions winning the U16 group and Leeds Lions winning the U12 cup.
Such a successful day required a team of dynamic volunteers who helped set up the venue the night before, started the food preparation at 6am on the day, and continued to work tirelessly to ensure the smooth running during the course of the day.
A fantastic array of special guests turned up including Fabian Hamilton, Simon Wilson, Harleen Kaur, the scouts from Bradford City FC, Hannah and Daniel from West Riding County FA, the Barclays Premier League Trophy team and Harnek Singh Bhullar amongst many others.
Such a special day was enhanced by the presence of the Barclays Premier League Trophy which was on display throughout the day. An opportunity for selfies, 'normal' photos, and a glimpse of one of most famous sporting trophies in the world! These opportunities were taken up by everyone on the day!
The day began as usual with an important message of how the Sikh Ethos was to play its part in the tournament - especially the quality of Compassion. We asked teams to show their skill, show their passion, but also retain their levels of respect and friendship with one another. This was evident throughout the day as players and volunteers had continous smiles across their faces!
The tournament itself was very competitive. In the 'Open Age' group stages; one group was decided on goal difference and another group was decided on goals scored (in which there was a difference of just one goal!) as goal difference was the same too! The U16s and U12s provided a glimpse into the future of the footballing stars and this was made even more true when two U12 players got scouted for Bradford City FC! We will be keeping a close eye on them and look forward to sharing their success with you all!
The Knock-out stages became intense as teams realised they were only a few games away from the coveted SSUK Trophy! In the open age group, the experience of Harehills Placed overcame the young tenacity of Leeds Lionhearts and TST on the way to winning their second title in three years! The U16 final between eventual winners Chapeltown Lions and Black Lions was a very close affair with Chapeltow just edging through with a 1-0 victory. The U12 final had a slightly more goal-fest feel about it as Leeds Lions ran out 6-1 winners against a spirited Sikh Sports Leeds team.
With the presentation ceremony, came the long awaited raffle prizes too! On offer; a scooter, badminton racquet, driving experiences amongst many others. The crowds gathered to see the players of the tournament in all age groups be crowned and also to witness the lifting of the trophies for the team winners. Not forgetting a special tradition of SSUK which is to give EVERY player, wherever they finished, a participation trophy to show our gratitude in the way the play and the effort to bring their teams to the tournament.
So a great day deserves some thank-you's ...
Firstly, thank-you to all the volunteers who gave up so much of their time; whether during the day, the night before the event or getting up at 6am to start the food prep. You are all invaluable to us and without you this event wouldn't be the success it was.
A huge thank-you to our sponsors who have helped shape this event and provided us with unrivalled support from the beginning. You have provided us with the means to help the community and for this we are grateful.
To all volunteers who helped to run the Cake Stall and Fruit Stall on the day. Thank-you for spending your valuable time and effort into baking your delicious and mouth-watering cakes! The feedback from your 'customers' was nothing short of DIVINE! You raised a grand total of £148 for which we are very very grateful for.
To all the teams that turned up on the day - ranging from the U12's to the Open Age teams; you played the tournament in an exemplary manner with the Sikh Ethos of compassion at the heart of your tournament. A massive thank-you to those that came from far and wide including Birmingham, Southampton and Preston amongst others! It was a very competitive tournament and we hope you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves.
Our special guests including Fabian Hamilton, Simon Wilson, Harleen Kaur, Bradford City FC Scouts, Hannah and Daniel from WRCFA, JR Autobodies, Manku Construction, Barclays Premier League Trophy team, Harnek Singh Bhullar. We are humbled by your presence at our event and thank-you for helping to bring the community together. We hope to continue our working relationship with you all in the future.
Lastly, may the Sikh Sport UK Core Team be blessed to continue working for the good of the communities and thank-you to all of you who put in so much time and effort behind the scenes that often goes unnoticed!
Have a look through our gallery for all the photos of the event!