Handballer image on canvas

A unique art exhibition dubbed as Four Songs to Oz involving four multi-awarded Filipino-Australian artists – Ramon Coloma, Alberto Estanislao, Alfredo Roces and Frank Rovero – is currently on display at The Verge Art Gallery in Sydney.

The exhibition opened last Monday (July 15) and will run until September 14.  Entry to the exhibition is free.

Mon Coloma with his painting of Bevan Calvert
Mon Coloma with his painting of Bevan Calvert

Among the art works in the exhibition is a painting by Ramon Coloma of a young Australian handballer who has been making a mark in high level competition in Europe.

Coloma has painted the who’s who in various professions and sports. He has exhibited Darren Lockyer, Cathy Freeman, Daniel O’Sullivan and Manny Pacquiao in his earlier one-man show.

Mon Coloma's paintings currently on display at The Verge Art Gallery
Mon Coloma's paintings currently on display at The Verge Art Gallery

For this current group exhibit in Sydney, Coloma only hangs the portrait of Bevan and small grouped portraits of Socceroos Viduka, Kewel and Cahill due to limited wall space.

“I painted and included Bevan Calvert in this exhibition as a recognition of his achievements in the sport of handball both in Australia and overseas.  I wish to highlight particularly that he is the first Filipino-Australian to be Team Captain of a national sport and to be playing successfully in Europe in the last eight years.  I hope that his story inspires more young people to keep pursuing their dreams,”  Coloma said.

Handball is Europe’s second most popular team sport, and also reported to be the second largest grossing revenue sport in the 2012 London Olympics.

In Australia, handball is pretty much a developing sport. The sport, however, can boast of dedicated players whose passion for the sport is second to none.  This passion for the sport has taken a few of the talented players to Europe to be engaged in high level competition which is not available yet in Australia.

Calvert is one of the Aussie exports who left home at the age of twenty years to pursue his love of handball.

With the help of then Australian men’s handball Norwegian coach, Calvert was introduced into the Danish handball league in 2006.  There, he played in the First Division Club Ribe for three years.

In 2009, Calvert moved to Germany to further develop his handball skills. He has since been playing for TSV Altenholz which has recently been reinstated to the Second Division of the German Handball Bundesliga, after a split of the competition into two groups saw the club narrowly missed staying in the division.

Despite playing overseas, Calvert has represented Australia in world championships and other significant international handball tournaments including the SuperGlobe Championships, 2010 Gallipoli Tri Nations Tournament and Oceania Region World Championship Qualifiers.

Calvert was the Team Captain of the Australian Men’s Handball Team which won convincingly the 2012 Oceania Region World Championship Qualifier, and where he was the top goal scorer.

He led the team at the International Handball Federation 2013 World Championship held in Spain.

At the close of the last competition season, despite missing four club games for being away and due to injury, Calvert was fifth place top goal scorer.

Calvert’s introduction to the sport began 12 years ago when he played with the handball team of Turramurra High School that won the 2001 NSW Schools Championship.

Since then, he has pursued the sport at the level where he is now.

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