V-United Sports Club of Hong Kong is a dream come true but there is even more in store for the future. The club not only acts as a magnet for people in the local Indian community but also helps promote harmony and cooperation through friendly games with clubs from other communities in Hong Kong, including Chinese-based ones.
In August 2001, the successful organization of a soccer tournament in India made Ali Faizal long even more for a club in Hong Kong. As a child growing up in the Indian town of Kayalpatnam in Tamil Nadu, it had been a source of wonder to Faizal that soccer brought such intense rivalry between the major teams and their supporters rather than unity. Couldn’t soccer be more a source of unity than division? Drawing inspiration from Manchester United and Newcastle United, the name V-United was chosen for the team that Habib Rahman and Ali Faizal started in July 2002, with the pronunciation of the letter, V, signifying “we” – a united people!
In June and July of 2002, and continuing through 2003, V-United was involved in many tournaments. By 2004 the club had become firmly entrenched in Hong Kong soccer circles and participated in numerous matches that involved teams from other local population groups.
A big moment for V-United, came on June 1, 2003, when the team participated in an inter-community tournament involving five teams. As two children held up the Hong Kong and Indian flags, and the team captains carried their team flags, it was clear that what began as a dream had indeed come true. Also, on September 29, 2004, after a preparatory period of three to four months, V-United organized a tournament that involved 12 different nationalities: India, Hong Kong, Cameroon, England, Malaysia, Japan, Italy, Nepal, Turkey, Ghana, China, and Pakistan. Seeing people come together as friends, even more so that winning tournaments, brings the team’s founders their greatest joy.
Though V-United is only in its second full year of activity it has extended itself in the community through organization of the Tie breaker Tournament and in supporting school-kids who are interested in learning more about soccer. In December 2004, the club was involved in a number of tournaments and contributed towards the promotion of cricket, volleyball and other sports in the community. While soccer remains the primary focus of V-United, the friendships that have formed around this common love of soccer have led to support for volleyball, athletics, table tennis and other sporting activities.
Though the establishment of the club is a cause for great satisfaction, much remains to be done. Certainly, without the support of individuals like Vice-captain Thasleem, Yasser, Arsath, and a host of others V-United might still be struggling. In the design of the club’s website, for example, many thanks are due to B.S. Salih; Sheikna; Abdhul Mohammad, B. S. Sahul hameed and also Mohideen who create the Team Slogan We are united by sports, much gratitude also to logo designer P.M.I. Faisal who was able to capture the essence of unity in the design. In addition, Faizal acknowledges the support of his family and teammates in making V-United a reality.
Faizal still thinks back to the huge amount of support he got from friends when he organized a soccer tournament in India in 2001. Among those who gave that event their wholehearted support were Habib Rahman, and Larif,. In that tournament, the cup at stake was named after one of the strongest influences in Faizal’s life, his grandfather, V.M.S. Lebbai. Indeed, that tournament was highly successful. Also, before the founding of V-United the late Katheeb Hamid, Mr. Dawood, Thaika, Maqbool, and Ismail, had done their best to keep the community spirit alive through their involvement in organizing soccer games and other activities that brought people together. Arsenal Seyed’s moral support and stints as announcer at a number of games are also appreciated.
With V-United’s goal of promoting athletes and sportsmen in Hong Kong, it can certainly benefit from sponsorship. Meanwhile, the joy of seeing V-United play against other teams in Hong Kong and fostering friendships among players and fans alike, make all the effort that has gone into building this team well worth it. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact the club through this website or by email at: email@example.com
- by Everett Ofori