DHAHRAN, 6/11/2014 — The Dhahran Cricket Association’s (DCA) 2014 Challenger League drew to a close as the DCA Panthers overpowered the DCA Tigers to capture the title.
The Panthers were led by Sarfaraz Alam, a gifted bowler and batsman. The Tigers were led by Mohammad Khurram, one of DCA’s most experienced top order batsmen.
The Panthers won the toss and chose to bat first. They had an extremely shaky start as Rohit Patwardhan, a batting stalwart throughout the tournament, was dismissed with the first ball for a “golden duck.”
One of DCA’s new emerging talents, Asif Ahmed, was also dismissed early, requiring the Panthers to switch to survival mode to post a competitive total. Salman Mirza then played a good innings under pressure but the superstars for the Panthers were Qadeer Ahmed and Ahsan Zubair. Both batsmen played responsibly and demonstrated some exquisite shots all over the ground, including clearing the ground for some massive six runs against the off-spin bowling of Rehan Khan. Mohammed Tayyab also played a quick fire innings to ensure that the Panthers reached a very competitive total of 190. For the Tigers, Saad Sikander and Mohammed Khurram bowled well but received little support from the other bowlers.
The Tigers faced a difficult task as batting second under pressure is never an easy task. Much was expected from the opening two batsmen. Unfortunately, the Tigers’ innings started in similar fashion to the Panthers as long-standing opener and captain Mohammed Khurram was caught off the bowling of Zuhair Bukhari. From that point on, wickets fell in quick succession. Although the Tigers saw hope in the batting of Aun Mela, a rising star in the DCA batting charts, Mela had to retire when he reached 50 runs. The usually dependable, big hitting Tanveer Hashmi also played well for his 27 runs. The bowling attack of the Panthers was extremely accurate with Sarfaraz Alam and Hasan Ali both getting two wickets each.
In the end, Panthers won the match comfortably by a margin of 70 runs. Although many notable performances were witnessed, Ahmed was awarded Man of the Match for his excellent knock of 45 under pressure. Ahmed was instrumental for the Panthers throughout the tournament as he backed his performances with some very vocal support from the sidelines.
The 2014 Challenger League was a well-organized tournament that was enjoyed by players and onlookers alike. The umpires and scorers did a great job of ensuring fair play and the statistics team led by Najam Ansari ensured that all information was uploaded to the DCA4U.com website. Naveed Haider, Haroon Farooqui and Tanwir Hashmi also did a great job organizing the tournament with support from board members and Dhahran Recreation.
DHAHRAN, 6/11/2014 — Swimmers representing the Dhahran Youth Swim League (DYSL) recently competed at the Swimming Championships held May 23 and 24 in Doha, Qatar.
Rather than being held at an outdoor location under harsh and sometimes dangerously high temperatures, the teams from across Saudi Arabia decided to hold this year’s meet in an indoor facility that would give swimmers the best chance to showcase their abilities. After a full year of training and competition, each of the swimmers who qualified to compete traveled with their families to the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha.
The commissioner of DYSL, David Cherrington, said: “The Hamad Aquatic Center is a world-class elite swimming facility that will host the World Championships later this year. I cannot even begin to describe how impressed I was by this complex. The pool, the pool deck, the scoreboard, and the timing equipment were all first rate.”
DYSL competed against more than 20 other teams from areas all over the Kingdom. Teams such as the al-Khobar Lasers, British International School Jiddah, and King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh provided intense competition.
At the end of two days of exciting competition, DYSL came home having placed first in both the overall medal count and total points. According to Cherrington, “DYSL proved in the water that it is the premier swim team in Saudi Arabia.”
The following DYSL swimmers were recognized as high point winners in the overall competition in their competitive age groups due to their outstanding performance: Harshini Murugan, 5th place in 6 & Under Girls; Tiffany Murillo, 4th place in 7-8 Girls; Kareem Kalo, 1st place in 7-8 Boys; Rifqi Sambodo, 1st place in 9-10 Boys; Turkum Onol, 5th place in 9-10 Boys; Maura Geuy, 3rd place in 11-12 Girls; Laura Solano-Florez, 4th place in 11-12 Girls; Rylynn Pierson, 1st place in 13-14 Girls; Louie Bariselle, 2nd place in 13-14 Boys; Kevin Montera, 3rd place in 13-14 Boys; Robert Cherrington, 3rd place in 15-16 Boys; and Rachel Bridgehouse, 1st place in 17-18 Girls.
DYSL, which has a played a significant role in the athletic community of Dhahran for many years by producing a “family” of swimmer-athletes, consists of 200 swimmers between the ages of 5 and 18 who participate in rigorous training and exciting competitions.
Karl Kleemeier, DYSL’s assistant commissioner, said “swimming helps athletes develop strong minds and strong bodies as it fosters self-discipline and concentration. DYSL strives to help its members improve their swimming skills while promoting lifelong healthy lifestyles, social development and personal skills for success both in and out of the water.”
ABQAIQ — Music, laughter, awe and the occasional whinny filled the air as more than 400 members of the Abqaiq Arabian Horse Association (AAHA) gathered recently for the inauguration and reopening of the Abqaiq Equestrian Center (AEC), a key renovation project that is part of the ongoing Abqaiq Community Enhancement Program.
A wonderful place
The festive evening celebration began with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony presided over by Omar Ghazi, manager of the Southern Area/Central Region Community Services Department. Touring the newly renovated stables and grounds, Ghazi and his team were impressed by the outstanding facilities that will serve the community. “It is truly a wonderful place to be — not only for our horse riders but for the horses, as well,” he said.
A build of this magnitude
Speakers included Sue Kelley, AAHA vice president, who thanked members and guests for attending, and Rafaqat Khan, the AAHA treasurer, who spoke about the history and background leading up to this milestone event.
Representing senior management, Ghazi thanked the AAHA and acknowledged the tremendous efforts of the Community Services team in implementing the project.
“A build of this magnitude can only be successfully achieved when people come together to work as a team, all striving for the same ultimate goal — to provide an outstanding facility that will enhance the community, to bring happiness to our growing number of families, and to provide the opportunity to learn a new and exciting sport: horse riding,” he said.
Special recognition awards
Special recognition awards were presented to the AEC grooms, Abdulruf and Jakeel, as well as to 11-year-old Soheil Abu Agil, a young man who despite being at the stables every night since the horses arrived in Abqaiq still maintains good grades at school.
The program included a sumptuous buffet dinner served throughout the evening plus a variety of entertainment for all ages. Corralled safely in the round schooling ring, younger children enjoyed the antics of a clown, as well as pony riding on Precious Lucy for 80 youngsters around the round ring.
A dressage duet
In the main arena, Abqaiq’s horse riding consultant, Diane Leverton, demonstrated agile dressage techniques astride ex-racehorse Storm, who had only started learning this discipline a few weeks earlier,yet his performance was hoof perfect. They were joined by Precious Lucy, ridden by Soheil, and together they performed a “duet,” displaying their happiness at being together as they rode through their exceptional paces.
Stepping out and dressing the part
At an outdoor stage erected for the occasion, the evening continued with a fanciful equestrian-themed dance performance and an entertaining equestrian-themed fashion show featuring Abqaiq residents modeling horse riding apparel courtesy of “Things to Do” from Bahrain.
A masterful quadrille
The finale that evening was an intricate quadrille performed by the horses Desert Rose, Spirit, Buffy and Lightning, who were ridden by Ana Gonzales, Sue Kelley, Jessica Kelley and Sharib Khan, respectively. Performing to the accompaniment of music, the horses and riders presented a masterful short demonstration of equine skills, grace and beauty. After their final bow, the horses were put to bed in their stables.
Special thanks went to Andy Holling, multi-sports consultant, whose skills as the master of ceremonies kept the evening flowing smoothly, and to choreographer Jeanie Powell and her volunteers for the time and effort put into their performances.
Also receiving thanks form organizers were Mohammed Al-Hajri, administrator of the Abqaiq Residential and Recreation Services Division, Community Services, the Abqaiq Recreation Services Unit team, the Al-Barghash team, and Essam Blooshi, ARSU assistant administrator, for their involvement in “making it happen.”
For more information about joining the Abqaiq Arabian Horse Association, contact Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org, Raf Khan at Rafqat.email@example.com or Kathy Cole at Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ana Gonzales, Sue Kelley, Jessica Kelly and Sharib Khan preform a quadrille as part of the festivities for the reopening of the Abqaiq Equestrian Center.
RAS TANURA, 6/11/2014 — Ras Tanura’s (RT) Young Leaders Gavel Club (YLGC) recently held a Family Day to celebrate and appreciate their families, something which has become a bit of a RT tradition.
Normally, the event is organized by RT Toastmasters, but this year, it was handled entirely by the Gaveliers with the help and guidance of senior Toastmasters. This year the theme of the event was “Summer Vacations,” which is something most people and their families are seriously thinking about at this time of the year.
Gaveliers Himanshu and Dhanya Vinod were co-hosts as Masters of Ceremony and kept the entire program running smoothly and efficiently. YLGC president Srinidi Badrinathan gave a welcome address in which she explained how the Gavel Club, which is meant for youngsters under 18, had transformed members by making them more confident and eager to learn and develop skills in researching new topics, improving writing skills and presenting speeches in from of audiences.
At the same time, they learned important leadership skills by organizing events such as this one. The next segment was a panel discussion with the topic “Advances in Technology are More a Curse than a Blessing.” Dhanya did an excellent job of keeping the discussion on track, and at the end gave a detailed summary of the main issues covered.
This was followed by an impromptu speech session (Table Topics) presented by Fawaz Kaabi, Cerine Guerouache and Mohamed Satra. Shortly before the break, the Family Day Newsletter was distributed, which the Gaveliers had developed.
Next was a humorous skit titled “Squawk!” The skit followed a young boy who eats too much junk food. In the end, he vows to eat more healthily in the future by consuming more fruits and vegetables, an important message for all families.
This was followed by a special “Riddle Quiz” conducted by Liya Benoy, which got everyone involved and was won by the team “We Quit!” After this, there was an awards ceremony where all those who had helped the Gavel Club and the Family Day event were recognized for their efforts.
The evening concluded with a High Tea sponsored by RT Recreation.
Overall, everyone agreed that this had been an enjoyable event, for which the Gaveliers had put in a tremendous amount of hard work in organizing, rehearsing and preparing for. All parents and visitors agreed that the youngsters have learned important skills that will enable them to be the successful “leaders of the future.”
AL-AIN, 6/11/2014 — The Dhahran SAAD Falcons’ ability to adapt to a unique ice surface helped them claim the B Division title at a recent U9 hockey tournament in al-Ain.
The Falcons entered the GCC tourney expecting to play on a regulation-size rink but discovered upon arrival that the tourney would be staged in the al-Ain Mall, which features a half-size rink.
After battling the always tough Dubai Attack to a hard-fought tie in the opening game, the Falcons dropped a 4-1 decision to the Dubai Crush.
Before the next game, Falcons coach Rae Persram made some adjustments, opting to go with three balanced checking lines and three solid players on defense in an attempt to better control the neutral zone in the smaller rink.
“We recognized we had to modify our game,” said Persram. “We knew whichever team could take away time and space from the other would be successful.”
The strategy paid immediate dividends as the Falcons pulled out a 4-3 win over the host al-Ain Vipers to set up a showdown with the top-seeded Abu Dhabi Storms the following morning. Another hard-fought battle ensued, with Abu Dhabi prevailing 3-2, sending the Falcons into the B Division championship game and a rematch with the Dubai Crush.
The final was another close affair but the Falcons’ relentless forechecking, which pressured the opposition deep in their end, eventually allowed them to pull away for a convincing win.
Persram said balanced scoring distributed throughout the team, along with stellar goaltending by Drew Collins, were other keys to the Falcons’ successful weekend.
“It truly was a total team effort,” said Persram.