Newly-minted Ireland District holds first Unity Games

By RONNIE H. MUTYA

Date Posted: June 7, 2024

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The first-ever INC Unity Games in the Ecclesiastical District of Ireland brought together brethren from its six local congregations and five group worship services (GWS) on May 5 and 6, 2024. It was held at the Valley Leisure Centre along 40 Church Road, Newtownabbey in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The said sporting event began with a parade of players, together with other brethren, donned in their respective teams’ colors of white (Portlaoise and Kilkenny GWS), red (Belfast), blue (Dublin South), yellow (Dublin, Westmanland and Reykjavic GWS in Iceland), and green (Limerick City, Galway, Kerry GWS, and Cork GWS). They then took the oath of sportsmanship.

With the assistance of the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) officers, elimination matches in basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, chess, and darts were held on the first day.   

“The atmosphere was amazing,” described AJ Balajadia, choir member from Belfast Congregation. “It was full of happiness, excitement, and competitiveness. It was just fantastic to be with everyone, have fun, and play sports together.”

Brother Robert Polancos, resident minister of the same congregation, observed, “Seeing everyone come together, not just the Church officers but every single member willing to drive far—like our brethren from Galway, Cork, Dublin, and Portlaoise—for an event like this, just shows the love of the brotherhood, the unity with the Church Administration, and the faith of each member in our district.”   

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On the second day, the championship rounds were held. Afterwards, the awarding of trophies and medals to the winners concluded the Unity Games led by Brother Pepito Acuesta, district supervising minister.

In an interview, he said, “We, the brethren, would like to thank our dearest Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, and the CFO Coordinator, Brother Angelo Eraño V. Manalo, for such activity. The brethren came here because of unity with a purpose of rendering honor and glory to our Lord God.”

The winners were as follows:

Basketball – Local Congregation of Belfast
Men’s volleyball – Local Congregation of Belfast
Women’s volleyball – Local Congregation of Belfast
Men’s badmintonBuklod: Cyrus Abaya (Local Congregation of Dublin)
KADIWA: Carl Mariano (Local Congregation of Dublin)
Binhi: Leon Paul Bautista (Local Congregation of Galway)
Women’s badmintonBuklod: Kerilane Agdaca (Local Congregation of Dublin)
KADIWA: Chin Bala (Local Congregation of Belfast)
Binhi: Alyannah Martinez (Local Congregation of Portlaoise)
Men’s table tennisBuklod: Dandie Beloy (Local Congregation of Dublin)
KADIWA: Jon Arsky Ariño (Kerry GWS)
Binhi: Keane Dela Cruz (Local Congregation of Portloaise)
Women’s table tennisBuklod: Cyril Cerveza (Local Congregation of Belfast)
KADIWA: Sherlyn Bala (Local Congregation of Belfast)
Binhi: Alyannah Martinez (Local Congregation of Portlaoise)
Mixed Doubles: Leslie Elmido and Era Elmido (Kilkenny GWS)
Men’s chessBuklod: Desiderio Ducusion Jr (Local Congregation of Portlaoise)
KADIWA: Franz Diether Lacuesta (Local Congregation of Belfast)
Binhi Male: Brother Joven Bucsit (Local Congregation of Portlaoise)
Women’s chessKADIWA: Mari-Joy Acoba (Local Congregation of Dublin South)
CWS: Reinhart Martinez (Local Congregation of Portlaoise)
Darts – Men’s: Keane Dela Cruz (Local Congregation of Portlaoise)
Women’s: Sherry Ann Henson (Local Congregation of Belfast)
Team: Local Congregation of Dublin

The overall champions were the teams white and red, consisted of the local congregations of Belfast and Portlaoise, respectively, who both tied with eight champion titles each.

The Ecclesiastical District of Ireland was established on September 3, 2023. Formerly, the congregations were under the supervision of United Kingdom (now Great Britain).  — With reports from Corinne Rhea Betsayda of INC News Section