June 4, 2016 was a day that no resident of the World will ever forget, much less the residents of Louisville. This was the day that the World has learned that Muhammad Ali, the Champ, had passed away. It was also a very symbolic day for some residents of Louisville. That same day the Bhutanese community, with help from Catholic Charities, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, and Jefferson County Public Schools, organized a one-day memorial inter-community soccer tournament, in memory of the three Bhutanese teenagers who were killed in a car/train accident on March 12, 2015. All three teenagers – Nagin Thapa, Suk Rai and Chita Chuwan were talented soccer players.
To honor their memory Catholic Charities suggested back in 2015 to the Bhutanese community to organize this memorial tournament and offered its help. While this memorial tournament was an opportunity to celebrate the teen’s lives, it was also an opportunity to raise awareness about teen safe driving and celebrate the international community in Louisville.
Nine teams consisting of players from different ethnic communities including Bhutan, Burma, Somalia, Somali-Bantu, as well as US born players competed for the 21 and under trophy. All in all, it was truly an international tournament.
The tournament started with two separate minutes of silence for the three boys, as well as Muhammad Ali. After that all nine teams lined up to salute the US Anthem. It was a very impressive picture. The final game was between the JCPS New Comer Academy team, consisting of Congolese refugees, and the Somali-Bantu youth team. The Somali-Bantu team won the match, and the tournament. Abdullah Abdullahi from the Somali-Bantu team was declared the player of the tournament.
Catholic Charities and the Bhutanese community would like to thank the C.E. & S. Foundation and Kroger Company for their support in organizing the tournament.
Click here to view photos from the day.