Interstate Knockout Soccer Tournament

Interstate Knockout Soccer Tournament

15/June 2013

Historic Moment for BCAA….

In an effort to facilitate and promote games, sports, arts, entertainment, and recreational activities for community youth, the BCAA sponsored the 2013 Interstate Knockout Soccer Tournament at Jennings Community Learning Center on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16 in Akron, Ohio.

The BCAA also hoped to rekindle friendships developed in the 18+ years these families spend in refugee camps in Nepal after they were forced out of Bhutan in an ethnic cleansing. BCAA officers also looked at this event as an opportunity to build new relationships with Akron residents.

Participating teams drove from Akron OH (4 teams), Baltimore MD, Buffalo NY, Burlington VT, Cincinnati OH (2 teams), Cleveland OH, Columbus OH, Dallas TX, Erie PA, Grand Rapids MI (team disqualified for inappropriate conduct), Hampton VA, Harrisburg PA, Illinois, Kentucky (2 teams), Lansing MI, Lancaster PA, Charlotte NC, Philadelphia PA, Pittsburg PA, Richmond VA, and Rochester NY. That was a lot of driving for a lot of fun and commaradary. An impressive roster of participating teams!

Tournament winners were from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Winner!
(Picture digitally enhanced to compensate for almost total darkness)
Charlotte, North Carolina – Winner!
(Picture digitally enhanced to compensate for almost total darkness)

John Valle at Opening Ceremony

John Valle, Director of
Neighborhood Assistance
for the City of Akron
John Valle (left), Director of Neighborhood Assistance for the City of Akron, addressed the players, coaches, and spectators at the Opening Ceremony. He said that he was pleased to see so many new Asian residents in Akron, and that he wanted each and every one to feel at home in Akron. His office is particuularly interested in making the quality of life better for all of the refugee communities in North Hill. He concluded his remarks by saying that he hopes this year’s tournament will become an annual event and get bigger and better every year. In the picture at the right, Mr. Valle is being interviewed by Nilam Ghimirey.

John Valle being interviewed by Nilam Ghimirey
John Valle being interviewed
by Nilam Ghimirey

The Tournament in Photos

Bishnu Subba and Diane Johnson
Bishnu Subba and Diane Johnson Players on field
Players lining up to start game Interview of guest
Nilam Ghimirey and Ram Dhakal
Diane Johnson said that events like this draw refugees together in a fun and entertaining venue. The events provides an opportunity for fellowship, and time to be together.


Dancers at Halftime Dignitary kickoff
Dignitary kickoff Guest
Billie learned too late to
enter his team (New York)
Michael Kane Dilll Rimal
Michael Kane (left), Dil Rimal
Michael Kane served as tournament adviser. He said that this tournament is important for the arrival of the Bhutanese in the City of Akron because soccer is an important part of their culture. Events like this will help them identify Akron as their home. It will make them feel welcome. It helps them celebrate their culture and the sport that they love. I also believe this tournament will help Akron residents to know refugees better as a collective group. It shows the Akron community that the Bhutanese refugees behave in a respectful manner and can organize and conduct a tournament on their own. I helped with this tournament because I live in North Hill, and recognize the large number of Asian refugees that are becoming part of the community that I live in. It is important to me that these groups are successful, because if they are successful the community will also be successful. Also, as the coach at North High School, I am pleased to see the youth soccer program to make our players better and when they get to North, they will be more talented players.


Announcers Announcers Announcers
Prakash Biswa, Prem Chowan, Sudan Rai, and San Man Subba served as Master of Ceremonies and announcers throughout the tournament. They introduced teams, half-time dancers, and made announcements, keeping everyone’s interest high.
Spectators on bleechers
provided by City of Akron
from Lock 3 Officers
Bishnu Subba, President, BCAA
Amber Subba, Past President BAAA
Tuk Rai, Treasurer
Naresh Subba Loati, Senior Advisor Ball in play
Lots of action on the field
Naresh Subba (on right in center picture above), is an elder from the community who has been in the US for eleven years. He said that “it is very important in many ways to encourage youth in Akron to develop relationships between Bhutanese and other local communities.” Besides, “this is fun! This is a time to have a good time; we should be doing more of these kinds of activities. I’m from Streetsboro, but I feel more attached to Akron. Time goes fast, and I’ve never had a chance to go back to Nepal. I’m a member of the community. It is important for me to show support. Interacting is fun.”


Ball in action
Lots of action
Game Officials
Amber Sugga (left), Michael Kane,
Bishnu Subba, Dil Rimal (right)
Action on field
Action on field
Dr. Madhav Batta, (seated right) a professor at Kent State University, is a Nepali native who came to this country many years ago on a student visa. He said that events like this help people to reconnect with their friends and families, and gives them a sense of community. It is good to engage youth in sports, for physical health as well as mental health. Madhav Batta
Sudan Rai (standing) Madhav Bhatta (seated)
Dr. Bhatta said that this tournament is a great event, and that he is glad that BCAA is putting it together. “I came because I want to support the community. Although I am Nepalese, I am not of Bhutanese origin, events like this give me a sense of belonging to this community because I share the same language, culture, and history.”

Goal shot
Goal shot
Keep Akron Beautiful
Ms Nugyen, Nilam Ghimirey The field
The Jennings CLC playing field
Ms Nugyen (above, left in center picture) is a teacher at North High school who came to support her students because many of her students participate in the Peace Zone Sporting Club teams. This is a way to get out and be involved in social events, and it is an opportunity for families to see how well their kids play. Ms Win and Nilam Ghimirey are standing beside on of the Keep Akron Beautiful containers that were donated for the event.


Trophies and Certificates
Gopal Lepcha from Akron, Ohio, came to support all the teams and have fun. As a member of BCAA, he helped organize the tournament to improve youths’ game skills, meet people, and make relationships better between the communities. Photographers
Kailash Ghimirey and Champha Subba
took many of the pictures on this page

Parking Lot
The Jennings parking lot was full Ganesh Biswa has lived in Riverdale, Maryland for two years. He said that “This event is important to have communication between states and meet new people. I came to watch the games.” He said that their team was sad because they learned about the tournament too late to sign up. Photographers
Photographers for the Bhutan Times
Newsletter and the Bhutanese
News Service (BNS)
Ganesh Mongar, from Dallas, Texas,l came to support the Druk team. Purna Poudel, also from Dallas, Texas, has been in the US for 5 years. He came to play in the game and have fun. Madhav Khatiwada from Michigan came to this friendly gathering to watch the match, support his team from Michigan, and to meet his friends.
Team picture
One of the four Peace Zone
Sporting Club teams. Crowd watching game
Fans watched from all around
the field. Player chasing ball
Players worked hard at
moving the ball.
Ram Dajal was in Atlanta, Georgia for 4 years and moved to Akron, where he’s been for 8 months. He came to watch the only game he knows, to meet friends, and to meet new Nepali Bhutanese people.



Tournament Supporters

President Bishnu Subba and the Organizing Committees thank all those who helped make the tournament possible. These individuals and offices include the City of Akron, Akron Public Schools, Michael Kane, the Family Grocery, Bista Brothers Grocery Store, Namaste Grocery Store, BCAA officers, tournament committees, student volunteers, and those many others who provided help and assistance. See the following list of acknowledgements

Bishnu Subba, President of BCAA (overall planner and executive producer)


Naresh Laoti, Dil Rimal, Terry Kuhn (overall tournament advisers and logistical support)


Prakash /Biswa, Prem Chowan, Sudan Rai, San Man Subba (masters of ceremony)


Krishna Suba, Sagina Rai, Pabitra Nepal, Bishnu Maya Basnet, Dhan Maya Tamang, Mongali Subba (guest reception committee)


John Valle, Director of Neighborhood Assistance, City of Akron


Michael Kane (Tournament Adviser)


Captain Sylvia Trundle, Chief James Nice, and the Akron City Police for their continued support of our community


Debra Foulk, Executive Director of Business Affairs for the Akron Public Schools


Michael Critchfield, Coordinator of Facility and Custodial Services for the Akron Public Schools


Todd Wiley, Grounds Services Foreman, Akron Public Schools


Alpha Phi Alpha Youth Soccer Club and Coach Mike Vinson


Michael Byun and ASIA Inc.


Elaine Woloshyn, Diane Johnson, and the International Institute of Akron


Hindu Sewa Samitee


Dawa Tamang, Bharat Bista (ball incharges)


Kane Sign Company


Naresh, Srijang, and Gopal Subba and the Family Grocery


Referees: Dil Kumar Ghalley (Main Umpire), Goman Magar (Assistant Umpire), Janga Bir Lepcha (Assistant Umpire), Amrit Regmi (Main Umpire)


Peace Zone Sporting Club, leaders and participating students


Rich Desrosiers and Michael Beaven, Akron-Beacon Journal reporters


Dispute Committee: D. B. Lungeli, Man Bahadur Rana, Bhim Subba, Rahar Singh Rai, Gopal Lepcha, Krishna Subba, Suresh Rai, Prakash Biswa, Tuk Rai, Amber Subba, Purushottam D hungana, Lok Subba, Sha Bahadur Neopaney, Billa Angdembay, Rudra Rimal, Arjun Bista, Sagar Timsina, Bharat Bista.

Tournament Officials: D. B. Lungeli, Mon Bahadur Rana, Devi Adhikari, Amrit Regmi, Dil Kumar Ghalley, Janga Lepcha, Bir Bahadur Yonjon, Rahar Singh Rai


Visiting teams, players, and coaches from

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cincinnati, Ohio

Grand Rapids, MIchigan


North Carolina

Burlington, Vermont

Columbus, Ohio

Lansing, Michigan

Baltimore, Maryland

Richmond, Virginia

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Erie, Pennsylvania

Rochester, New York

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Cleveland, Ohio

Akron, Ohio (4 teams)

Buffalo, New York

Rochester, New York


Hampton, Virginia


Tournament Planning Team: Sagar Timsina, Dil Rimal, Shabdr Neopaney, Bhakta Subba


Contact Persons: Bishnu Subba, Rudra Rimal, and Amber Subba


Registration and Fee Submissions: Billa Angdembay, Arjun Bista, and Tuk Rai


General Information Committee: Sha Bdr Neopaneey, Sagar Timsina, Arjun Bista, and Bhim Chuwan


Paula Davis, Keep Akron Beautiful

Bista Brothers Grocery Store

Namaste Grocery Store

Thanks to all of these individuals and organizations for their support of this event!

Kailash Ghimirey and Champha Subba, photography.

Nilam Ghimirey, interviewer and contributing author.

Terry Kuhn, editor.

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