November 2012

the whole player

USC Banquet honours players

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Awards and Scholarship presented amidst performances and entertainment

USC's year end banquet was held at Whistler' McNeil room on November 18. It promised to be a party of a different kind, if you wanted to compare it with last year's, and those who attended did not leave disappointed.

The presentations moved along smoothly from start to finish. While the focus was on honouring our players and recognizing the many volunteers who helped make the season successful, some players made that extra step onto the stage and shared their 'extra' soccer activities by demonstrating their 'other skills' to the delight of the crowd.

The opening act for the entertainment section of the afternoon was Yaathav Yeakanthan.
He did three Karate demonstrations in the style of Shotokan, exciting the viewers with swift moves, using ancient weapons, Bo, Sai and Tonfa, and seemingly missed one of our players narrowly, almost poking him. No harm was done, because it was all under control and part of the act. Yaathav started to learn Karate at age 4. He received his First Degree Black Belt at age 9.
One of our youngest players, Anwar Boutahor,
followed this segment with a Taekwondo
demonstration. He and his sister Marwa mesmerized the crowd with brilliant moves and after a few attempts, little Anwar broke the traditional board, held chest high by his sister, with a well aimed, powerful kick. Anwar has done performances like this before in front of audiences, to raise awareness of Diabetes Type 1, which he himself was diagnosed with at age four.

That concluded the athletic part of the show, and it was time to get the musicians on stage.

Chris Chen, our youngest musician, performed two piano pieces. First shy, he steadily grabbed the attention of the audience and got them in the mood for more.
Michael Thorn was next in queue with five lively piano pieces that made the listeners clap along. He slowly eased himself into the character of the songs and became stronger and more confident with each piece.
Then it was time for Ruqayya Hirji on Piano and Sophie Mihevc on flute. The two performed Katie Perry's 'Fireworks'. The audience really enjoyed this melodic and moody, yet energetic, song and dug in, singing along.
Ehsan Hirji was next with a guitar piece, 'Summer Paradise' by Simple Plan. Everybody clapped along and Ehsan's strumming effectively moved the afternoon along nicely.
Brent Leung completed the musical segment of the afternoon with a Cold Play song, and it seemed the show could have continued on forever with only these players performing one tune after the other.

However, it was now time for the more serious
part of the day.
Shafiq Bhanji was our guest speaker and smiling,
he acknowledged that grabbing the audience's attention after those performances was a tough act
to follow.
Mr. Bhanji is the owner of Athlete's Care, the sports medicine provider for the USC Academy. He addressed head injuries, concussions, and how to diagnose and recognize symptoms.
His presentation was well received and the parents appreciated AC collaboration with USC.

Then it was Klaus Baedorf’s turn to give recognition to volunteers and coaches who helped the academy along. This was followed by handing out medals to the players, appreciating their efforts, and then giving special awards to players who went above and beyond expectations.

Finally it was time to give away the scholarship award. The three nominees for this special recognition were (from left to right) Brent Leung, Danielle Konig and Ruqayya Hirji. Ruqayya was selected as the one recipient of the Scholarship Award.


Finishing the afternoon was Dennis. His stellar and entertaining free style performance got everyone out of their seats and loosened up again. With the background of booming music he dazzled the audience with incredible ball juggling and acrobatics.

In the end, everybody left with a good feeling, looking forward to another season.


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