2nd Annual Welcoming Games Recap
Global Detroit is excited to share a recap of our 2nd Annual Welcoming Games, which took place Sunday, September 13 in Clark Park in celebration of National Welcoming Week, a week of activities coordinated in Michigan by Welcoming Michigan – Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. This year, we decided to try something new and hosted a futsal tournament. Futsal is a modified version of soccer played in all continents of the world by over 100 countries and 12 million players – and we can’t think of a better way to honor diversity and culture than through a game celebrated by much of the world.
Teams arrived early to stretch and warm-up, eager to try their foot at this fast-paced – and new to most – sport. Friends and families gathered round to watch, and joined in the celebration by sharing why welcoming is important to them.
Global Detroit was pleased to have teams from all over southeast Michigan – the Ford Hispanic Network, Arab American News, Wayne County Community College District, members of the Detroit Gambian Community, Futsal Factory, and more. Events like the Games, that bring people together to pay tribute to the culture and diversity that make up our neighborhoods, are important communal activities and remind us of the value (and fun!) of inclusive communities. Global Detroit is proud of the huge welcoming spirit we saw in all of our players and friends, and we look forward to seeing the welcoming movement continue to spread.
Congratulations to the 2nd Annual Welcoming Games Champions, Google It!
All of the teams brought their “A game” and every match was complete with fancy footwork, unbelievable saves, and impressive goals. The final match between the Alley Boyz and Google it! kept everyone on their toes, and Google It! edged out the Alley Boyz in the final minutes for a close score of 5-4.
The Welcoming Games would not have been possible without the support and generosity of these people:
Cultural Ambassadors Derrick Quandt, Marilyn Yousif, and Jordan Szaroletta generously donated their time to volunteer at the Games – you may have seen them at the registration table, or acting as referees for the children’s games. What you didn’t see was their efforts behind the scenes in the days and weeks leading up to the event. As those of you that have ever hosted events know, volunteers can make or break them, and Global Detroit is extremely thankful to our Ambassadors for their time, energy, and commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive community.
Michael and Howie – we couldn’t have done it without you! We appreciate your willingness to jump in feet first to a new role. You reffed the Games with professionalism and zeal, and we’re proud to call you friends.
Nick Prys, Southwest Housing Solutions Neighborhood Preservation Team associate, partnered with Global Detroit to coordinate the Games and provided the equipment. Prys, a Duke Soccer Alum, southwest Detroit native, and son of a Ukrainian immigrant to Detroit, has been spreading the word about the fun of futsal in metro Detroit and is working towards setting up a Detroit Futsal League. With funding from the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank fund, the Southwest Housing Solutions Neighborhood Preservation Team installed two public futsal courts on the Clark Park hockey rink this past August. Thanks, Nick, for all of your help making our 2nd Annual Welcoming Games a success!
Norma G’s Fine Caribbean Cuisine rounded out the day with delicious fare: authentic pelau and curry dishes, and Lester’s famous 3-cheese mac ‘n’ cheese – with a kick (pun intended!). Thank you to Lester and Norma G’s for joining in the Welcoming Week festivities!
Thank you to our Sponsors: