Sunday 29 March 2009 witnessed yet another mammoth sports event in London. It was the 11th National Yuvak Mandal Indoor Cricket Tournament. 32 teams from centres around the country eagerly turned up in the morning with a mix of nerves and excitement. The Swaminarayan School, Mandir Gym and the Harrow Leisure Centre were the venues chosen for the initial group stages. At 8am, teams turned up at their respective locations where the initial group stages were going to be played.
The opening ceremony was carried out at the Mandir and at the Harrow Leisure Centre in the presence of Thakorji and sadhus. After some tough matches during the group stages, half of the 32 teams were soon eliminated leaving 16 teams to fight it out in the knockout stages. These matches were played at Harrow Leisure Centre where the atmosphere began to heat up with satsangis from the respective centres turning up to cheer on their teams. After another close round which saw some exquisite shots being played together with some clever bowling and sharp fielding, another 8 teams were knocked out which left the strongest 8 teams of this year to fight it out in the quarter finals.
The knocked-out teams stayed to witness the closing stages of the tournament. This went a long way in fulfilling the vision Yogiji Maharaj had in keeping samp, suhradbhav and ekta amongst the yuvaks – our main motto on the Yogi Yuva Cup trophy. After the quarter finals, the semi-finals saw the India Sevaks A, India Sevaks B, East London A and APC Lions fight it out to try and claim a final spot. Eventually, both teams of India Sevaks proved too strong for the other teams and 2009’s final was played out between India Sevaks A & India Sevaks B. After many twists & turns during the game, the current holders & tournament favourites – India Sevaks A – triumphed once again and went on to claim victory and win the Yogi Yuva Cup 2009.
This year’s tournament was partnered with the Anthony Nolan Trust, who had a clinic at Harrow Leisure Centre, where many yuvaks participating in the tournament voluntarily registered on the bone marrow register. The Anthony Nolan trust were grateful for the support shown by the yuvaks during the day and look forward to working together with BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha at future events.