Growing Filipino community in Labrador hosts first sports meet

Erwin Ponce bounces a volleyball off the wall at the Labrador Training Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, practising his spike for Sunday's big sports meet.

"I'm just doing some walling to practise before the game," he said. 

It's the first all-Filipino sports meet in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, a town more than 300 Filipinos call home, just part of what a new association is doing to bring the growing community together.

Community gathering

"We are so excited most of our fellow Filipinos are preparing for this," said Charylene Gould, a board member with the association.

"They are excited to come watch their family, friends and co-workers. This area is going to be packed."

John Gaudi/CBC

Gould says many friends have scheduled the day off work so they can come and watch the sports meet where men, women and teenagers will compete in friendly competitions of volleyball, basketball, badminton, darts and billiards.

"All the Filipinos here are so busy working. A sports meet like this is really great to see each other because we are working in different areas."

"It's a good way to meet everyone again," said Gould 

Filipino Association 

Ponce will compete in volleyball during the sportsfest. He's quite active in the sports scene in Happy Valley- Goose Bay but also plays in all-Filipino tournaments outside of Labardor. He's always thought an association with a club-like setting would be great for Happy Valley Goose Bay. 

Ponce and Gould are in the process of making the Filipino association official by registering the group. 

"We are going that route, a more general association to cover the sports part, the cultural part, the arts part and any kind of activities that will handle the Filipino community here in Goose Bay," said Ponce.

Submitted by Erwin Ponce

Ponce has lived in the area for eight years now and has wanted an association established for a long time, he says, because it will help organize gatherings and sports events for families and children in the area.

The sports meet will kick it all off with games starting Sunday afternoon. 

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador