Jersey City, 25th Sep – Running for the 6th consecutive year, the “Sports for Sewa Cricket 2016” charity tournament was a roaring success, with TEK Systems and Vatan as it’s main sponsors. All proceeds of this event will go towards Sponsor a Child program (https://sac.sewausa.org), which focuses on educating underprivileged children in India. The event had approximately 1000 attendees, 64 teams, 50 volunteers and 12 sponsors, with funds raised totalling $50,000.
Jersey City and Hudson County Administration was very helpful in planning the event and further strengthening the relationship was the highly anticipated visit by the Freeholder, William O Dea. Other guests of honor who graced the Sewa tournament this year included City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, Councilman John Hallanan and Deputy Director of Recreation Joseph Macchi.
The event was further supported by a bevy of local community sponsors with TEK Systems and Vatan being the highest contributors. Brittania Gaspar and Justin Laskowski from TEK Systems had some choicest praises to bestow on the tournament and have vouched to return again next year as the main sponsors. Nikhil Raikundalia from Vatan Restaurant agreed this tournament was nothing short of being “fantastic”, “magnificent”, “tremendous success” and “a great charity partner since 2011”.
Played with a hard tennis ball, the 8-a-side event has evolved into one of the largest charitable cricket endeavors in the tri-state area. Some participating teams were from areas as far flung as Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut, adding to the landscape of this burgeoning event.
Teamwork wins the trophy in their 4th consecutive attempt
The final game of this year’s tournament was an exciting showdown with Whiteplains based NY Strikers emerging as the champions over Rutherford Rangers, who defeated the defending champions in their initial game. Prakash Shah, a member of the winning team exclaimed, “Sewa tournaments have always been an amazing experience! We entered this tournament 4 years ago and winning it this year amongst 64 teams is an awesome experience. This victory certainly boosted our confidence and we will be back again next year to support Sewa and defend our win”.
While applauding the winning team for their “Champion” dance, Mrugen Mehta, one of the organizers said, “They say if you practice hard and focus you can beat any team – and that is what NY Strikers did. Rather than being a one man show, in each of their 6 games in the tournament, a different player stepped up and brought victory for his team.”
Volunteers personally raise 50% of the funds
Thanking the sponsors, city officials and participants for their support, Ravi Chandra Chakinala, President of the NY Metro Chapter of Sewa, concluded the event by listing various ongoing service activities Sewa has been involved with all over the US. He also announced that, aside from teams and sponsors, the Sewa volunteers raised enough donations to educate over 100 children for a year, which alone amounts to about $25,000.
With months of arduous planning and logistical impediments leading to the tournament being handled by the army of Sewa volunteers with tremendous ease, it was another feather in the cap for Sewa International’s NY Metro Chapter. This year the crowds were packed not just with cricket enthusiasts, but also with families that brought their kids to enjoy the picnic atmosphere which included Indian food, volleyball nets and an energetic dhol performance by Jai Bharat Dhol Tashaa Pathak. The participants also benefited from free health checkups conducted by Jersey City Medical Center.
Next year’s Sports For Sewa efforts hold even more hope and promise to be a lot bigger. Initiatives are in place to include women players to make it a truly diverse experience and possibly add more sports to the annual fundraising roster.
SEWA – New York Metro Chapter https://www.sewausa.org/event/sports4sewa
Pictures from the event: Album 1
Left to Right: Runners Up, Volunteers, Guests of Honor and Winners
A moment from one of the cricket games
Supporters and volunteers enjoying a game of volleyball