Congratulations are in hand for the Belize Ek Balam Poktapok team from Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk, Belize. They arrived back to the country victorious over a weekend competing in the 2nd Annual Poktapok Worldcup Tournament in Guatemala.
Pok-A-Tok is a Mayan ball game with ritual associations; It’s not a sport you hear much about these days, but the Ek Balam team is doing a great job in reviving the sport in Belize and preserving the rich Mayan culture of the region.
They faced stiff competition like Mexico and El Salvador but in the end, Belize proved to be the strongest by coming in first - making them the world cup champs of Poktapok. Participating countries included Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
The team returned home home and was celebrated with a victory parade through Orange Walk. Yo Creek is a village in Orange Walk populated mainly by people of Yucatec Maya descent.
"Proud of Belize Ek Balam Pok Ta Pok Team for winning the second pok ta pok world cup!" commented Menalio Novelo, team captain/coach. "We played 6 games and won all! We also won first place in the 'shot on the hoop' competition. Great job Didier Novelo, Franz Novelo, Eric Cal, Nelson Blanco, Hipolito Suchite and Jose Luis Pol. We held the Belizean flag very high!"
Team Captain/Coach Menalio Novelo celebrates victory along with his sons