UNION SPORTS CLUB-
1986 USC Magazine
Historically the club’s inception got underway in 1933 when a cricket team was formed. The outbreak of second World War restricted activities but the formation of its first volleyball team under the captaincy of FHR revived activities of the club.
In 1952 the community’s sports enthusiasts held meeting under the shade of a mango tree at Chungani ground. The meeting was presided by Abdulrasul Virjee and it officially launched the Daressalaam Ithnashris’ first ever club, Ithnashri Sports Club.
In 1956 the other clubs belonging to the community like Phelomaths Club(tabletennis), Twilight Club(badminton) and Radio Club(snooker) which all had been formed to cater for the sporting needs of the community joined hands with Ithnashri Sports Club to form the Ithnashri Union. It took under its wings the literary, nursery school, volunteering, employment as well as the sports portfolio with Bashir Rahim as its first Chairman.
There was keen interest in badminton and tabletennis during the early fifties. In 1956 a tabletennis tournament was held and won by Amir Datoo. Mohamed Pirbhai took the honours in 1957 and 1958. He also won the Tanganyika Open Student Championship and became its first Champion in 1958. The badminton field brought laurels and it produced three National Champions in Raza Virjee, Ahmed Ratansi and Mohamed Nurmohamed. Yusuf Somji made his mark on tennis courts.
For a decade, the period between late sixties and early seventies, the club had mixed fortunes in cricket and volleyball, its two main sporting activities. The club reigned supreme in volleyball, Ithnashris trademark since 1943, and they dominated the Daressalaam scene winning innumerable trophies. However championship in cricket eluded Ithnashris.
In 1972, falling in line with the National Sports Council’s directive, Ithnashri Sports Club became Union Sports Club with its sporting activities centred at the Boarding House. It had two cricket pitches and a volleyball court. In 1983 a squash court was built. Presently the club consists of some 300 playing and non playing members.
The club over the years has produced many fine administrators who have not only managed the affairs of the club but also gained prominence in the administration of Regional and National cricket bodies-RR Jaffer, Mohamed Pirbhai, Raza Kara, Yusuf Dhalla and Ibrahim Jivraj are some members of the club who have held high offices in these associations. The club has had also its fair share of representation in the National Cricket Team.
The club is a regular participant in the Annual Tarmohamed Abdul Gani Memorial Tournament. Having successfully hosted the 1982 competition in Daressalaam it will again host in December this year the 9th TAGMT tournament.
Though Union Sports Club’s performance outside the country does not merit much acclaim its synonimity with cricket in the local context is similar to our leading soccer clubs of Yanga or Simba symbolizing football. Union’s biggest plus point is the tremendous spirit that it exudes. It is the team spirit that has been Union’s binding force since its inception.
The first cricket team after the war revolved around certain established players who till then had been playing for the other teams. In its very first season in 1951 under the leadership of Abdulrasul Virji it finished runners up to AK Sports Club.
Cricket continued to flourish under the captaincy of FHR until his departure in 1953 for Congo. By then the team had been moulded into a fighting unit, and then FHR’s younger brother Muslim Kara carried along the good work for the first half of 1954 season until he also left the country. Finally Pyarali Merali carried the baton to the finishing line, leading it to its first league championship in 1954. The team then had mixed fortune and it was demoted to the second division in 1961, only to bounce back into the senior league in the following year.
The Zanzibar Revolution of 1964 saw the exodus of the community to the mainland where Zanzibar’s high caliber cricketers joined hands with Ithnashri Union and consolidated it. In 1972 participating under the new name Union Sports Club it finished runners-up. 1973 marked the glorious reign of Union when after 19 years it won the championship under the captaincy of Amir Yusuf. The championship was lost in 1974, regained in 1975 but lost again in 1976. The period since 1977 has witnessed Union’s most outstanding period in its history. Its supremacy has been undreamt of. It has been not only winning the league every year but also dominating the knockout and other tournaments.
The first ever league championsion 1954.
Championship eluded for 19 years and was regained in 1973.
Standing (l to r): Hasnain, Hussein Sultan, Shabir Jivraj, Lyakat Khimji, Naushad Kermalli, Raza Kara, Ibrahim Tejani, Shakir Sheralli, Mahmood Rahim, Hussein Datoo.
Sitting (l to r): Mohamed Nathoo, Munawer Noormohamed, Amir Yusuf (captain), Yusuf Dhalla, Yusuf Kabana, Bahsir Tejani, Mahmood Noormohamed.
|Last updated November 2007||Copyright © Abdulrazak Fazal 2007 - All Rights Reserved|