Cheers and shouts of excitement filled Mt. Carmel School ground last weekend as Saipan youths compete in different sporting events during Mt. Carmel Youth Ministry (MCYM) 1st Annual Sports Fest.
Hundreds of youths, not including adult chaperones participated from 11 parishes including San Jose, Tinian who brought in the largest delegation. The two-day event featured basketball, volleyball, ultimate frisbee, tug-of-war, obstacle course and even hotdog eating competition.
In the end, San Jose, Tinian took the overall title which was determined based on point-system. Each parish is awarded points for every game they win from the elimination round up to the final round.
San Jose Tinian won the championship titles in volleyball, tug-of-war, obstacle course (female), ultimate Frisbee and the hotdog eating competition. San Jude took the basketball trophy while Santa Remedios won the obstacle course for male. The winning parish brought home their respective trophies and will have a chance to defend them in next year’s sports fest.
Edward S. Dela Cruz Jr., MCYM Coordinator for this year’s Sports Fest was very pleased and at the same time surprised with the turn out. They were projecting a small Sports Fest with around 65 participants but the number of youths who registered on the opening day soared to around 235 participants, not including the chaperones and adult volunteers from different parishes.
The local clergy also turn out to support their respective teams. Others like Fr. Charlie, Fr. Allan and Fr. James even participated and played with their youths which added more excitement to the events. Bishop Ryan in his remarks at the opening ceremony, acknowledged the efforts of MCYM for organizing the Sports Fest as well as the participation and support of each parish. “Activities like this is an opportunity to show virtues of respect, sportsmanship and kindness,” Bishop Ryan said.
“Obviously, there are many things we can improve for next year,” acknowledged Dela Cruz, noting how his small team tried to organized everything from the registration to the rules, format and bracketing of each sporting events. However, the unexpected large turnout proved to be a challenge as they have to make last minute adjustments to accommodate every team.
Overall, MCYM was remarkable in organizing this year’s Sports Fest as many youth participants were already looking forward for next year’s events. In his interview with the North Star, Dela Cruz acknowledged the efforts of the members of MCYM: John Costales, Jayrald Mercene, Elijah San Jose, Jalen Lucido, Yuuki Nishida, Lorenzo Sanchez, Christian Merante and his two Assistant Coordinators: Gerald De Guzman and Dencio Manglona. These youths did all the fundraising efforts leading to the Sports Fest as they wanted to make this a “zero dollar event” for the diocese. “We don’t want to place financial burden to the diocese nor to the parishes and at the same time, we wanted this to be a fun event for our youths.”
In closing, MCYM wanted to acknowledge and thank the benefactors for this year’s Sports Fest: Mt. Carmel School, Latte Built, Marianas High School, Francisco Mendiola Middle School, Joeten SuperStore and Tribe Marianas.