On March 15- 17 2013, The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre hosted the annual men’s basketball tournament, the Coptic Orthodox British Elite Basketball Association (COBEBA).
Under the care of His Grace Bishop Angaelos, the tournament saw youth from across the United Kingdom gather to support their respective teams, and to enjoy a weekend of healthy fellowship. The teams and supporters from parishes in Brighton, Newcastle, Golders Green, Kensington, and Stevenage, also joined the congregation in the Cathedral of St George in praying a Liturgical service on Sunday 17 March. The service marked the first anniversary since of the departure of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, who departed on 17 March 2012.
Bishop Angaelos said:
‘His Holiness is known for his words ‘the Church without youth is a Church without a future,’ and it would bring great joy to his heart to see hundreds of youth gathered here together in the house of God, in healthy fellowship during this weekend of sports ministry, as was the case at the time of his departure. We all, in remembering His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, do not mourn, but rather give thanks for his life and faithful ministry.’One of the organisers, Mark Galta said:
‘What truly touched me about the tournament this year was the spirit of fellowship and unity, clearly shown by the attitude of all the players and supporters. After the competition I received feedback from other teams, and they expressed their desire to set up a league and have games throughout the year, encouraging people to get together more often in that same spirit of fellowship and love. It was clear to see that all the teams and their supporters had a great time.’
The defending champions, the Newcastle ‘Phoenix’ (above) reclaimed their title in a dynamic game, beating the Brighton ‘Cobras’ with a score of 104-94.