HAWAK KAMAY BERGEN SPORTS EVENT, THE BEACON OF SPORTSMANSHIP AND DIVERSITY
By : Myra Celeste Pasion Isaksen
The people energy was so alive at Ny- Krohnborghallen in Bergen, Norway last May 6th and 7th, 27th and 28th respectively. The atmosphere was euphoric, as the crowd cheered for their teams, reminiscent of a PBA Championship at the Araneta Coliseum.
This year’s crowd have more than doubled as participants came all the way from Oslo, Stavanger, Øygården, Haugesund and Asker. A big leap since it was launched last year 2016 at Amalie Skram gym hall. A crowd of at least 300 comprised of players joined by their families and friends gathered at Ny- Krohnborgshallen to support the event and enjoy the perks of a weekend get-away exploring the charm of Bergen City.
UNITY AND INTEGRATION. By encouraging all nationalities to join the said event, HKB communicates its appreciation towards diversity. Amidst deafening screams from the cheering crowd. Filipinos together with Africans, Swedes, Norwegians and Asian players gave the crowd ultimate heart-pounding games as they displayed their competitiveness during basketball, volleyball and badminton competitions. On the court, sportsmanship transcends their differences.
Completing the total package of the sports event, our non-filipino friends enjoyed the entertainment and simple delicacies that HKB organizers and sponsors prepared for everyone.
Winners Badminton game: 1st place Almer Nunez and Rose Verginie Tongco; 2nd place Rodrigo Intal and Leanie Joy Hermosisima; 3rd place Gil Gatchilian and Ida Lynn A. Mikalsen; 4th place Cesil Torreon and Kyle Hermosisima .Winners Bbasketball game: Gold – Team Bergen; Silver – Team Oslo; Bronze – Team Stavanger; 4th place – Team Asker
CHANGING LIVES. Those who came half-hearted can be touched by the atmosphere of camaraderie, and Alroe is one of them. From someone who struggles with serious social anxiety, entering the hall with hundreds of strangers terrified him. He strongly described the experience as «… being repeatedly stabbed in the chest.» But those strangers who greeted him with smiles on their faces and sincerely encouraged him to stay were simply hard to ignore. Totally inspired by the positivity of every person in the room, Alroe faced his fear and joined the Blue team of Bergen . When asked by his therapist on his thoughts about the experience, he proudly said ”with all those people around me, hugging me before and after playing was a big assurance that I am in a safe place that people who came are not just there to aim for championship but the reward of friendship that I have lost for a while. Hugs are therapeutic”
As the event comes to an end, everybody left with a light heart, knowing that there will be more friends to be added on social media, more HKB activities to look forward to, and a remembrance from the crowd, those of unique Filipino smiles, humor and laughter.
Winners Volleyball game: 1st Red Team (Stavanger);2ndplace White team (Stavanger); 3rd place Blue team (Bergen); 4th Place yellow team (Bergen)
THE FUTURE OF HKB SPORTS EVENTS. Discipline and attention to the minutest details, define the HKB events organizer´s professionalism. Given their limited resources, Vincent Marimba, Manager of Ny- Krohnborghallen, is so impressed with the execution of logistics considering the scale that entails organizing such a big event. According to HKB board member Sonnie Jay Valderrama, the success can be attributed to the passion and sincere engagement of all the volunteers, sponsors and board members. Considering themselves as their own worst critics, keeps them on their toes, raising the bar higher in terms of achieving their goals in uniting the community to be a part in changing lives by supporting their projects.
Champions will definitely defend their titles next year and equally excited are those neighboring teams without a doubt, are more than eager to come back to Bergen and compete with a vengeance. Hundreds are now waiting in anticipation. HKB will now have more balls to juggle in the air, but sports enthusiasts have nothing to worry about. HKB will deliver as it always does, successfully.
For more information on HKB projects and upcoming events, please visit our facebook page at Hawak Kamay Bergen.