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Parish faces parish in first Virtus Games competition

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Young adults from St Felix Bankstown, All Saints Liverpool, Somascan Movement Australia based at Joseph’s Moorebank and Syro-Malabar Youth based at St Christopher’s Holsworthy come together for the inaugural Virtus Games. Photo: Jazz Chalouhi
Young adults from St Felix Bankstown, All Saints Liverpool, Somascan Movement Australia based at Joseph’s Moorebank and Syro-Malabar Youth based at St Christopher’s Holsworthy come together for the inaugural Virtus Games. Photo: Jazz Chalouhi

Catholics in South-Western Sydney have taken their religious “virtues” to the sporting field as parish took on parish at the inaugural Virtus Games.

Four churches came together for the brand-new competition aimed at uniting young adults in faith-filled fun and healthy competition.

Teams from St Felix Bankstown, All Saints Liverpool, Somascan Movement Australia based at St Joseph’s Moorebank and Syro-Malabar community from St Christopher’s Holsworthy collided on the grounds of St Christophers, competing to be the first winners etched onto The Virtus Games Championship Cup.

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Together teams did battle in games of basketball and ultimate frisbee, playing each other twice before Somascan Movement Australia and the Syro-Malabar team’s featured in a tight grand final frisbee match, with the Somascans the victor 10-8.

“The genesis stemmed from the want to foster camaraderie among parishes across South-Western suburbs,” said the organiser of the event Celine Attia.

“The resounding success of the first Virtus Games has even got everyone talking about participating in upcoming tournaments, so now there’s a strong foundation for inter-parish events and spirited competition.”

Douglas Colbran said he was never much of a sportsman but had heard a lot of excitement around the parish groups coming together for an interconnected event.

Young adults from St Felix Bankstown, All Saints Liverpool, Somascan Movement Australia based at Joseph’s Moorebank and Syro-Malabar Youth based at St Christopher’s Holsworthy come together for the inaugural Virtus Games. Photo: Jazz Chalouhi

The member of the All Saints Young Adults was invited to participate and was “excited at the chance to connect” with other like-minded parishes.

“Even though we were playing against each other, we were all united by our common desire to live on the path of the cross,” Douglas said.

“In coming against each other the team grew closer and conquered our challenges together.”

The Virtus Games takes its name from the Christian desire to be “virtuous” not only on the pitch but off it, in the fields of courage, respect and excellence.

The games aimed to build up the character of players to develop these virtues amongst those in the Catholic community through healthy competition.

“The whole day it was great to see young people having fun, using their energy to make a positive environment,” said assistant priest at St Joseph’s Moorebank and St Christopher’s Holsworthy Fr David Romero CRS.

Fr David also got in on the action with the Somascan team, encouraged by everyone’s “virtues on full display” throughout the day to roll up the clericals and lace the boots.

“The day epitomised what it means to be part of a local parish community and a group that shares the same value and faith.

“Sport gives you purpose, goals, passion, and the satisfaction of achieving those goals despite the failures that may come before it.

“Discovering that you can go beyond what you thought were your limits can be applied too in everyday life. Such is in sport as in life.”

The day has garnered enthusiasm for future competitions, with the hope the Virtus Games will grow annually as more parishes get involved and churches rotate the host or the tournament.

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