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ComPANions Play at Exodus Panyard Reporters
Event Date: May 30, 2007
Posted: June 10, 2007

On Sunday May 30th, 2007, ComPANions held their 7th annual Family Day at the Exodus panyard in St. Augustine. Intermittent rain could not dampen the mood of hundreds who were gathered for a day of fun and exciting activities. Twelve steelbands were invited to participate in the day’s event which started one and a half hours after the scheduled starting time of 11a.m. Mr. Pedro Montenez of Exodus informed us that this year's activities were almost cancelled because the organizers were unable to secure the WASA Grounds where the games are usually held. However, at the last minute, Mr. Ainsworth Mohammed offered the use of Exodus’s panyard to avoid canceling the games. The ComPANions Games were geared toward the family and every age was represented at the event, from babes in arms to veteran pan players and flag bearers.

The day started with windball cricket matches between the participating pan sides. The steelbands that were represented were Sforzata, Sound Specialists of Laventille Steel Orchestra, Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra, Pamberi Steel Orchestra, Pan Knights, Defense Force Steel Orchestra and, of course, Exodus Steel Orchestra. Each team consisted of seven players and must have included at least one female. Each team had seven overs allotted to them.

The matches, although played in a friendly atmosphere, were all keenly contested. One of the more exciting matches was the semifinal match between the Defense Force Steel Orchestra and the host band, Exodus Steel Orchestra. This match was laced with a lot of light banter and picong. Due to the fact that there were seven teams present, Defense Force Steel Orchestra had a bye in the preliminary round and were fresh when facing Exodus in the first semifinals. Although they were a team with a few more experienced sportsmen, the Defense Force Steel Orchestra could not stand up to the perseverance that came from the Exodus team. Eventually, Exodus won the match with scores of 31 for 2 wickets while the Defense Force scored 30 for 2 wickets. Exodus eventually emerged as the overall winners of the cricket, beating Pamberi in the finals. The results for the cricket matches were as follows:

Game 1 / Sforzata 7 for 6wkts vs. Sound Specialists of Laventille 8 for 1wkt
Game 2 / Pamberi 28 for 0 vs. Pan Knights 27 for 4
Game 3 / Exodus 21 for 0 vs. All Stars 20 for 3
Semifinal / Exodus 31 for 3 vs. Defense Force 30 for 2
Semifinal 2 / Sound Specialist of Laventille 10 for 7 vs. Pamberi 11 for 3
Finals / Exodus 28 for 3 vs. Pamberi 23 for 6

There were also a series of fun races that took place during the day. The most creative being the 'Wrap the Pan Stick' where the competitors had to run, take the pan stick and a piece of rubber, wrap the pan stick and then race to the end. The winner of this event was the young Adrian Jaikaran of Sforzata.

The 'Woman is Boss' segment featured four races: lime and spoon, thread the needle, musical chairs and the beer drinking competition. This section was for women only and the women members of the pan sides did not hesitate to show their competitive side. The males also had their own musical chairs and beer drinking competition.

Food and drink was not in short supply on this Indian Arrival Day holiday, as the members of the pan sides brought a variety of drinks and food including the favorites 'Pelau' and 'Buss-up-shot' . Many of the spectators ate and drank on the sidelines while the matches were being played, some even dancing to the music of DJ Hampro International.

Due to the late start of the ComPANion Games, the 15 minute, five-a-side football matches did not start until after dusk, and were played under the lights of Exodus panyard. While the football games were taking place, the other members of the pan sides that were not cheering on their fellow players were inside competing in the 'all fours' matches. A lot of 'singing ' accompanied the 'all fours' where each team of two competed to reach 14 points. Of course, there were the unfortunate few who got their Jack's hung during the all fours competitions.

These events brought to a close the ComPANions Games 2007, which to many was a day filled with fun.

Exodus ComPANions in pictures:

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