Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace players (in blue) contend with Church of St Michael players in the semi-finals.Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace players (in blue) contend with Church of St Michael players in the semi-finals.

Initial rain failed to dampen the spirits of the 32 altar servers’ teams from across the archdiocese who took part in the Archbishop’s Cup Challenge 2012.

The soccer tournament, held on June 9 at the Jurong Outdoor Futsal Centre, saw teams from 15 parishes competing in three categories – the under-13s, under-16s and under-19s.

The Altar Servers Ministry of the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea organised the event, which aims to foster closer ties among the various altar servers’ ministries in Singapore.

The annual competition underwent a facelift this year, taking on a five-a-side futsal format, instead of the traditional seven-a-side match ups.

Despite some rain, competitors were in high spirits as many of their fellow parishioners came to support their teams.

“This is a good gathering for the altar boys to meet each other and bond together,” said Archbishop Nicholas Chia at the event. “This way, they are able to share their experiences of what being an altar server means,” he said, adding that young people are the future of the Church.

The B team from Church of the Holy Cross won the under-13s title after defeating the team from Church of the Holy Trinity 3-2. The A team from Church of the Holy Cross came in third.

“I am very happy that we have won,” said winning team captain Ethan Kyle Chung. “I couldn’t quite believe it because there were very tough competitors.”

The team from the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace won the under-16s category, after beating the A team from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour 1-0. The B team from the Church of The Holy Family finished third.

Said winning team captain Allen Woo, “We have trained every Sunday since the last tournament. What makes this even sweeter is that three years ago we won it, but lost it the year after. Now we have finally won it back!”

Trophies for the winning teamsTrophies for the winning teams.In the under-19s category, the team from the Church of the Holy Family emerged victorious against the team from the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The team from the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace came in third.

“I am very glad that we came here and managed to go undefeated throughout the whole tournament,” said Nicholas Ho, captain of the Holy Family team. “This is a team sport, so I’m happy that the team worked well together.”

Fr J J Fenelon, parish priest of Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea, presented the prizes.

“Everything went according to plan, everyone competed fairly, and the weather did a lot to help keep things cool,” he said. “Also, this is the first time the competition is in the futsal format.”

Altar servers can now look forward to the Archbishop’s Cup Challenge 2013 which will be organised by the Altar Servers Ministry from the Church of the Holy Spirit.

By Fabian Koh

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