The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Singapore organized a friendly Cricket tournament for the nation’s migrant workers on 10 Aug 2015. This was a momentous occasion as it marked the first time the Church was engaging in such migrant worker outreach. The Church also organised the event to encourage participation from the migrant workers and to welcome them into Singapore society.
The tournament took place at the Sengkang cricket ground and was held in conjunction with the SG50 Jubilee celebrations. There were 41 migrant workers who formed three teams to play against the Church team. The four teams comprising of 11 – 15 players each were:
- Kienta Cricket Club
- East Lodge Cricket Club
- Expo Cricket Club and
- Mar Thoma Team
The tournament was played under sunny skies and ended at 1.15 pm with lunch provided for all present. The Kienta Cricket Club clinched the Champion Trophy, while the Mar Thoma team took second place. Ramesh, captain of the Kienta Club took the Best Batsman trophy while Aljo Thomas of the Mar Thoma cricket team won the Best Bowler trophy.
|Winning team – Kienta Cricket Club|
The migrant workers were very appreciative of the efforts taken to host this friendly tournament and voiced their anticipation of similar cricket matches in the future.
When asked how the Expo Team felt, the Captain of the team, Kanaan with a few of his team players by his side, said “ Yes, very nice. This first time experience is good and to play with new people is special. We also made new friends.”
Expressing similar sentiments, Karthik, Captain of the East Lodge said, “This is a nice way to make new friends and to play together is very good.”
|Rev John G Mathews presenting the Champion's trophy to Kienta Cricket Club|
A Church spokesman said that the occasion was a stepping stone to a deeper, more meaningful friendship with the migrant workers. He said that the Church was equally excited to see what the future has in store for this new initiative and other collaborative efforts with the migrant workers.
The cricket tournament was also an opportunity for the Church to appreciate the migrant workers for their hard work in contributing to the Singapore economy. It was also a time of sharing love and friendship with the migrant workers through a common love for sports. The Vicar of the Mar Thoma Church, Rev John G Mathews said “ The cricket match offers a unique opportunity for the Church and its members to connect with the migrant workers and to show love and appreciation to them for their many contributions to Singapore.” The Vicar also added that he hoped that this inaugural cricket match would see the start of many more cricket matches between the Church and other organizations that will forge new friendships, understanding and respect for this group of workers who form a vital segment of Singapore society.