The first edition of Walton Women Federation Cup Handball Competition 2020 commenced at Shaheed (Captain) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium in the capital on Saturday.
Bangladesh Handball Federation (BHF) organised the event to mark the 100th birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.The Daily Sun Editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury formally inaugurated the meet as the chief guest while Walton Group (Sponsor) Executive Director FM Iqbal Bin Anwar Dawn and Radio Today Head of Programme Development Zahirul Islam Tutul were present there as special guests.
BHF Vice-President Golam Habib presided over the programme. Besides, BOA Treasurer and Bangladesh Archery Federation (BAF) General Secretary Kazi Rajib Uddin Ahmed Chapol, Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Deputy Secretary General and Bangladesh Volleyball Federation (BVF) General Secretary Ashikur Rahman Miku, BOA Deputy Secretary General and BHF General Secretary Asaduzzaman Kohinoor, BHF Vice-President and Tournament Committee Chairman Md Nurul Islam, executive committee members, officials, players, coaches and referees were also present on the occasion.
Kohinoor handed over a crest to the chief guest The Daily Sun Editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury before delivering the welcome speech. Tournament committee secretary Selim Mia Babu and steering committee joint secretary Kamrun Nahar Swapna also handed over crests to the special guests Iqbal Bin Anwar Dawn and Zahirul Islam Tutul. Later, Iqbal Bin Anwar handed over a special gift to the chief guest The Daily Sun Editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury.
Kohinoor thanked the chief guest and veteran journalist Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, sponsors, Walton Group Executive Director, other guests and all the participating teams to be part of the competition to motivate players. He also recalled the dedicated long working life and feats of the veteran journalist Enamul Hoque Chowdhury.
“The chief guest of the meet has been with the handball for 40 years. He has assisted and inspired us a lot. We have a lot of memories. Girls are playing a vital role in handball. Now, we have for the first time organised the Federation Cup for girls with the help of sponsors Walton. We’re also trying to strictly follow all health measures. Handball is one of the most important games in the world. I hope these young players will help our country to reach the right place on the globe,” Kohinoor added.
Addressing the inaugural session, the chief guest Enamul Hoque Chowdhury said, “Kohinoor Vai has been my friend since 1984. He is a dedicated sports organiser. He has done a lot for the development of the Handball federation and made the school handball popular. Now, the handball federation is considered one of the leading sports federations in Bangladesh. Miku Vai, Chapol Vai are also the dedicated sports organisers of our country. I believe our entire sports fraternity is grateful to them. I especially thanked them.”The chief guest further said in his speech that he would always continue his assistance for the development of handball.
“I don't make distinctions between men and women. These girls, who are playing today, are the ambassadors of handball. I believe that Kohinoor Vai and others will always provide you with help. I've extended my helping hands for handball and will always continue my assistance for its development,” the veteran journalist added.
“Handball players earlier got chances to study in Dhaka University due to the sports quota. I urge Kohinoor Vai to restore these quotas for our handball players. I also request him to arrange scholarships for the players from different private universities. I will help him as much as I can regard these issues,” the chief guest added.
Walton Group Executive Director FM Iqbal Bin Anwar Dawn and Radio Today Head of Programme Development Zahirul Islam Tutul also promised to provide further helps for the development of the game. Later, the guests and BHF members inaugurated the competition releasing balloons.
Three matches were held on an opening day after the inaugural programme. In the opener, Jamalpur Sports Academy beat Naogaon District Sports Association (DSA) by 22-15 goals. In the other two matches, Faridpur DSA beat Handball Training Center Dhaka by 26-14 goals and Tetulia Upazila Sports Association beat Jessore DSA by 35-17, all the same venue. A total of eight teams, split into three groups, will take part in the 8-day meet. Group A comprises Police, Ansar and VDP, Faridpur DSA and Handball Training Center Dhaka while Group B comprises Jamalpur Sports Academy, Naogaon DSA, Jessore DSA and Tetulia Upazila Sports Association.
The top two teams from each group will reach semi-finals on Dec 1 and 2 while the third-place decider and final will be held on Dec 3 and 5 respectively, all at the same venue. The champions will be awarded Tk 15,000, the runners-up team Tk 10,000 and the third-placed team Tk 5,000. Sponsors Walton Group is providing jerseys to the participating teams.