UAE

Champs of the Camp: 1,000 blue-collar workers have field day as Dubai church honours unsung heroes

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Sports and other activities – all provided free of charge – were part of the events for the workers
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: When Mujahid, a Pakistani worker with a facilities management company in Abu Dhabi, came all the way to Dubai to take part in a cricket match on Sunday, he was under the impression that it was going to be similar to the matches that his team had participated in the past. It was not.

His team did not just play and win the second place. They had a lot of fun watching many other games and dances and received many gifts as well.

Mujahid was one of the nearly 1,000 blue-collar workers who literally had a field day as St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dubai honoured the unsung heroes by organising an event titled ‘Champs of the Camp’.

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“Our company’s teams took part in various games and took trophies in cricket, volleyball and football. The event was fun. We loved it and most of all we liked taking back so many gifts for our team members,” he said.

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Cheers welcomed teams of companies throughout the day
Image Credit: Supplied

Beyond games

Mukesh, a member of the cricket champion’s team, said: “We are an unbeatable team… We won all the matches the we played. We have won many other matches also, but here it was different because we didn’t just play. We had a lot of fun too. There were a lot of things for entertainment. On one side, there were games; on the other side, songs and dances. So, we didn’t get bored at all. We are looking forward to coming back for the next edition of this event,” said the Indian expat worker.

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Rachel, a security guard from Nigeria, said she was excited about getting a platform to showcase her singing talent. “I was so happy to sing my favourite singer Celine Dion’s song. But, it was a close competition and I couldn’t be among the top three. I am still happy that I managed to get this platform. I will sing better next time and win,” she added.

From 9am till late in the evening, male and female workers from various companies across the country took part in several sporting events and talent shows to have a different holiday at an indoor sports facility centre.

There was a great display of talent from dancers and singers among the workforce. After the talent hunt, a panel of judges gave out prizes for top three singers and dancers.

Tribute to unsung heroes

“Today, Dubai is one of the most vibrant cities of the world. Years of visionary planning by our great leaders and the tremendous hard work by numerous unsung heroes continue to build a brighter future for the UAE. Our church has organised this event to honour and celebrate the tireless efforts of these champions,” said Fr. Lennie Connully, parish priest of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which organised the event.

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Representatives from the church and government departments during the event
Image Credit: Supplied

Susan Jose Desmond, a coordinator of the Samaritan Ministry of the church, said: “It is a salute to the invisible, everyday heroes. They were celebrated with their performances, prizes, refreshments and more. There were many memorable moments as the workers showcased their talents in sports and fine arts. The event was possible because of the tireless efforts of the volunteers and kind-hearted sponsors.”

She said workers from 44 companies across construction and cleaning sectors and municipalities were invited to attend the event.

Desmond said the church plans to work with its patrons and the companies to arrange grooming sessions for the workers to prepare them better for the next season. “We are looking at organising professional grooming for them so that they spend their weekends more productively and perform better next time,” she said.

The event was attended by officials from various government entities such as Dubai Municipality, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Police, Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs and senior executives of participating companies.

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