Association of Bhutanese in Australia (ABA), Sydney celebrates Christmas day through sports every year

And so it was, after a year of frantic studying or tireless work, the Bhutanese community gathered together in unity for the annual sports day celebrations. The sun was out, along with sunscreen and smiles, upon the diverse individuals from the community, young and old, all eager to participate in the fun. Whether competing for podium positions, or just to take part in the enjoyment, the field was set.

The limelight was first shone onto the youngest of the community. We commenced the day with a series of chocolate races, where the number of gleaming faces willing to take part was in abundance.  The winner of the under 5 years of age category was Arohn Gautam, with Yugal Dhungyel as runner up. Dristi Gadtaula sought victory with Rhea Dahal shortly behind in the 5-8 category, Divyanka Gadtaula won the 9-12 year bracket with Dipen Bhandari shortly behind. The 13 – 16 category had winners of Kerish Dahal, with Deepika Parajuli.

Next up was balloon burst! Another activity the kids couldn’t wait to participate in. The under 5 category found the victor in Davin Katiwada, and runner up in Yugal Dhungyel. 5-8 found a winner in Akriti Gautam and the runner up in Dristi Gadtaula. The kids also took part in a classic playground emerging from our homeland – cockfight. Shamikchha Bhandari held out till the very end to emerge as victor with Trishna Kattel as runner up in the girl’s category. Amongst the young boys, Robin Sharma was the winner with Dipen Bhandari as runner up.

Next in line, close to all our hearts is a game played in our childhood years that is – the spoon race. Dristi Gadtaula took home the winner’s medal in the 4-8 age group with Rhea Dahal in second place. Tika Bhandari sealed the win for the 9-14 category with Robin Sharma close in second place. Kabita Dhungel won the race for girls aged 15 to 29 with Ranju Rizal in second place. The ladies above 30 also took part with Pabitra Dhungyel finishing first ahead of Pabitra Kafley closing into second place.

As the field events continued, the track was set for the 100m races. Bhavod Dhamala sprinted to win for the boys under 15 with Robin Sharma following in second place. Diliram Neupane, as expected, won it for the boys under 30, with Narayan Gimire from the community in New Zealand sealing second place. For the men’s racing in the bracket 30-44, it was Nandalal Bhandari who finished ahead of Keshab Gautam for 1st and 2nd places respectively, whilst Naresh Parajuli won it for the mens 45+ with Om Dhungel as runner up. For the girls, Divyanka Gadtaula took home the winner’s medal for the under 15 age group with Trishna Katel in second place. Pabitra Khadka finished for first place ahead of Bhima Gautam who took runners up for the under 44 category. Devi Acharya finished first place for womens 45+ ahead of Januka Bhandari who finished runners up.

Like other years in the past, volleyball was obviously the most favourite event of the day. It was played simultaneously while other participants were engaged in other activities. Altogether, 13 teams participated this time.
The concluding event for the day was tug-of-war for both men and women teams. The day concluded with distribution prizes to the winners.

Reported by:

Khuswant Chamlagai