Calgary soccer tournament in murder victim’s memory brings together cultural groups

Published: August 1, 2014

Calgarians compete in Calgary’s Nation’s Cup in 2013. Submitted photo.

JEFF MACKINNON
CALGARY HERALD

Jessie Lail just wanted to do something to keep his friend’s memory alive. Organizing a soccer tournament was a no-brainer, as it was Davinder Singh Kajla’s favourite sport.

Eight years after six teams gathered for the first one, Lail and Singh’s family are left to marvel at what the Calgary Nation’s Cup has become – a joyous, peaceful gathering that brings the many nationalities of the city together to mingle and show pride in their own heritage.

It’s become such a cultural phenomenon,” said Lail, who is also president of the Calgary United Soccer Association.

“Each team interacts with the others.

Team India, Team Fiji, Team Chile – everyone knew one another (before) and knew of each other but never interacted. When you come to the field you’ll see how diverse everyone is, but at the same time everyone is Canadian.”

Calgary Nation’s Cup runs Friday through Sunday at Foothills Athletic Park and Broadview Park (Friday only). Opening games are at 6 p.m. Friday with China taking on Colombia and England facing Oromo. Canada meets defending champion Fiji at 7 p.m. Games run through the weekend to Sunday night’s final.

Teams are vying to hoist the Davinder Singh Kajla Memorial Trophy. Kajla was murdered in 2005 in a shooting that took place in Chinatown. He played soccer since the age of five, grew up to play for SAIT men’s team and was a member of the Calgary Callies of the Alberta Major Soccer League when he died. Kajla’s family help out as volunteers at the tournament and his sister Karen Kajla says participating in the weekend gives them some comfort.

It’s really great for my family and I because it gives us something positive to look forward to each year instead of it just being a sad topic,” she said. “It’s a really nice event for us to be part of.

The tournament began with six teams in 2005 and has grown to 20 in the open division, with the addition this year of four in the masters (35-plus) group. Returning teams this year includes past champions Fiji, Scotland and India along with new entries from Chile, Iraq, and Peru. Fiji beat Scotland 2-1 in the 2014 final led by former national teams players Petero Dauniseka and Viliame Toma.

Quarter-finals are Sunday starting at 9 a.m. followed by the semifinals at 3 p.m., the third-place game at 5:45 and the final at 7. The schedule can be found at cusa.ab.ca.

Along with all the flag waving, bagpipe playing and drum beating and overt signs of patriotism, there will be eating. Food trucks will be present at Foothills all weekend.

It’s a great atmosphere,” Fiji representative Binay Prakash said. “You’ve people from 20 countries getting together and everyone is there to have a good time. We’ve got a lot of support from our community and so does everyone else.

Lail said the tournament reflects his friend’s personality and approach to life.

He was very jovial and he had a zest for life you could say,” Lail said. “You can see through the picture we have on our website that he was a funny individual and laughed a lot.

That’s what I think the essence of this tournament is – to laugh a lot and have fun and enjoy one another. That’s what he did on a daily basis.

Related:


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Seniors-documentary-Parents

Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »

Parliament hill

Dosanjh: We must criminalize glorification, encouragement of terrorism

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Canada is no stranger to terrorism. Nonetheless what has happened in the heart of our capital on the heels…
Continue Reading »

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears expecting their first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) are expecting their first child, the spiritual leader…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Seniors-documentary-Parents

Stricken by her mom’s death, Sikh filmmaker learns ‘to keep moving forward’

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI When Vancouver filmmaker Baljit Sangra’s mother suddenly died after being struck by a car, Sangra was so devastated that she wanted…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Surrey mayoral candidates share city visions at first meeting

AMY REID VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Surrey mayoral candidates met for the city’s first all-candidates meeting Thursday night at SFU. Six of the seven candidates…
Continue Reading »

OTTAWA

Surrey MP Nina Grewal’s account of the shootout in Ottawa

NINA GREWAL SPECIAL TO IANS  When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking at about 9.30 a.m. Wednesday in a caucus room of parliament, we…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

student dead

Two dead, including gunman, in school shooting north of Seattle

DOUG ESSER THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

labour laws violation

U.S. company penalized for mistreatment of Indian employees working 122 hours in a week

MICHAEL LIEDTKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN FRANCISCO – A Silicon Valley company is paying more than $43,000 in back wages and penalties after labour regulators…
Continue Reading »

DESI-SOCCER

Surrey soccer captain played the U-18 national club championship using only one foot

KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW SOUTH SURREY – Kyle Sohi’s perseverance and performance in the 2014 Sport Chek National Club Championships U-18 Cup Final might go…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-FIELD HOCKEY

Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Stan Lee-Bollywood

Stan Lee plans Bollywood film on his first Indian superhero

VANCOUVER DESI Stan Lee, the legendary ‘Spiderman’ creator, is reportedly planning his Bollywood entry with a film on his Indian superhero character ‘Chakra: the Invincible’….
Continue Reading »

KANGANA RANAUT

Even my parents think I am weird, says Bollywood ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut

HINDUSTAN TIMES Kangana Ranaut has always made unconventional choices, be it her movies or the way she dresses. And the actor says she’s happy the…
Continue Reading »

Happy New Year-Bollywood

Happy New Year: Mandatory ‘formula’ and all those old Bollywood references

HINDUSTAN TIMES Film: Happy New Year Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff Director: Farah Khan…
Continue Reading »