Thursday, 5 June 2014

Sexual Violence Free Society Tournament

Dhasa Tibetan Women’s Basketball Tournament Summer: Monday June 2nd, 2014

EduCARE’s Young Women’s Association (YWA) was invited as an honoured guest at the Dhasa Tibetan Women’s Basketball Tournament on Monday, June 2nd, 2014. As it was a late notice, many of us were unable to attend the event. Fortunately, Kiana, Hanh, Elizabeth, Ruthie, Bertrand, Guilhem, Lenka, Josefina, Amanpreet, Alex and Priscilla were all there to support the incredible basketball tournament. It was quite the adventure finding the place, since none of us knew where the tournament was being held. Each time we passed someone we would ask them where the Tibetan Library is, as the tournament was being held in the court close to the library. After what seemed like hours, we finally found the location of the tournament. As we walked in, it was evident that we were late and that everyone was waiting for us. Everyone from EduCARE India gathered with the participating teams in a picture.

We found places to sit and waited for the tournament to start. This was the championship game between Regional Tibetan Women’s Association and Tibetan Women’s Football Team. Mr Penpa Tsering la, the speaker of Tibetan Parliament in Exile graced this event as the chief guest. Ms Gyari Dolma la, the Kalon of the Department of Home and representatives of Young Women’s International Institute and EduCARE India were also present as the guest of honour.

The tournament showed the teamwork, spirit and their love for the game; yet being very competitive and intense. Though being opponents they showed respect through the way they played. One of the objectives of holding this tournament is to advance the participation of Tibetan women in sports and health. The purpose is to address sexual violence in the Tibetan community and also to improve the quality of life for Tibetan refugees. All the players, volunteers and the guests wore purple armbands as a symbol of solidarity towards a ‘Sexual Violence Free Society’. The nine days tournament observed hundreds of spectators enjoying the matches from all corners and every possible space around the Gangkyi Basketball ground.

It was an honour to have the opportunity to witness this incredible event. As EduCARE India and YWA are working towards creating women empowerment through various means, seeing the women participate in the basketball tournament made our goals more consequential. Being part of the Dhasa Tibetan Women’s Basketball tournament has reinforced the capabilities of women in all societies. It is events like these that continue inspire organization like EduCARE to continue the amazing work we are set out to do.

- Amanpreet Sidhu, Canada

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