Save the Children- Bhutan Country Team participated in first ever one-day knock-out basketball tournament- “Partnership for Development”, organized by SNV on May 17, 2014 (Saturday) at the Bhutan Basketball Federation court in Thimphu.A toal of 13 International Organizations in the country took part in the friendly tournament that was organized as a platform for all the international agencies to liaise and increase coordination and build partnership.
Save the Children played the maximum number of matches and emerged as the winner and won the “Partnership for Development” rolling trophy 2014.
The team captained by Education Programme Manager Karma Dyenka, had all the programme and support staff participating including the National Director himself.
Save the Children first beat the team from UNICEF and went on to beat the SDC/ACB team. The semi-finals with JICA saw a neck-to-neck run, sometimes even running over each other. But Save the Children’s team kept their cool and the lead to win the match.
The final with SNV, the organizing agency, was equally competitive. A key player for Save the Children, Garab D Namgyel suffered a severe cramp confining him to the chair. Child Justice System’s Specialist Tashi Delek looked as though his legs were giving up even if he wasn’t. The new mother and Child Protection Officer Yangchen who did not miss the basket was now missing it. As push came to shove, up came the National Director, a yesteryear national football hero but not with as glorious record with basketball, to try his hand whatsoever, while providing some rest to an extremely fatigued teammates.
Karma Dyenka also pushed on though at times rolling herself. DRR Project Officer Sonam Pelden usually rolled in to substitute and maintain the gender balance of the team. It must be noted here that Save the Children always played with at least one or two ladies in the team.
Together with the rebound, the Administrative Manager Sonam Tshewang, got himself a new name ‘Big Show’ and plodded on scoring when possible, defending and faulting when not possible. The Office Secretary Pem Namgyal, certainly the thinnest and fittest of them all whizzed about throughout the entire tournament providing quick passes and attempting for baskets though in vain at times. MEAL Officer Nar Bdr. Chhetri, with a slightly injured right hand also tried his otherwise sure enough 3-pointers but it must have been the pressure to score that he could not point it to the basket.
The recently joined member of the Save the Children family, DRR Grant Manager Korina usually took the first-break but at times looked a little confused with all Bhutanese looking the same and passed the ball to the opponent.
DRR Asia Advisor Manish Mehta, the Store In-charge Kelzang Wangchuk, Finance Manager Gangaram Sharma, and BCBI Project Officer Bishal Rai, also played when the opponent was no better than themselves. Indeed, the opponents took the advantage to make some quick scores as the four first-timers from Save the Children ran everywhere to get to the ball.
Mention must be made here that while all this was going on, the DM&E (or MEAL) Manager Parvati Sharma documented the whole cycle of the tournament with her high definition Sony video camera from the upper tier. She was briefly joined by her daughter too. Finance officer Usha looked on from the midst of children and spouses of Save the Children.
It is undeniable though that the one day knockout tournament not only brought victory to Save the Children but also brought the small Save the Children family more closer to each other and on a personal level.