This year being on the National Committee has been filled with remarkable firsts for me. Among these experiences was my first time at an NHSF (UK) London and South Zone sports competition. This year’s competition was held on Saturday, November 18th, 2023, at Haggerston School in London. Prior to becoming part of our NHSF (UK) parivaar (family), I had no inkling of the connection between a sports competition and our Hindu Dharma. Yet, immersed in the passionate, spiritually uplifting, and respectful atmosphere, I departed Haggerston School with an entirely transformed perspective.
The event was a showcase of numerous universities engaging in a variety of sports, including Netball, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, and Football. Following the soothing mantras in the opening ceremony, I glanced around and witnessed our affiliated universities’ dedication, integrity, and commitment shining through their enthusiastic participation. It was awe-inspiring and undeniably influenced my personal development and mindset. For instance, one chapter made a journey that began at 2 am just to reach London and compete in this event! Moreover, NHSF (UK) felt honoured to host professional sporting bodies like the Kho Kho Federation England and England Kabaddi Union, whose added support and guidance ensured the smooth flow of matches and provided extended sporting opportunities for our Hindu student community.
Going back to the connection between sports and Hindu Dharma, some of our National Committee members devised a Dharmic ‘Coin Toss’ quiz for the captains of the respective sports teams to participate in before matches. These questions brought a perfect sanskaar element to the games, allowing players to both utilise their jñāna (knowledge) and to delve deeper into various Hindu facts, many of which were eye-opening even for me.
As we concluded the event with the closing ceremony and distributed awards, I departed the venue filled with an immense sense of fulfilment and pride for our National Committee, affiliated chapters, external organisations, and spectators who collectively made this event a resounding success. This occasion will be etched in my memory as a cherished experience, as I continue to learn and evolve as an individual.
- Sid Mohanty, National Sanskaar Team Member
NZ/CZ Zonal Sports competition was held at South Nottinghamshire Academy. Being my first time at a NZ/CZ sports competition I didn’t know what to expect from the chapters, but I am glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised as the chapters were enthusiastic and raring to go for each of the sports they had entered a team for.
One of the stark differences between the NZ/CZ zone and LZ/SZ zonal was the inclusion of a women’s league for Kabbadi, I recommend that anyone who did not have an opportunity to watch the games at Zonals, should save some time to watch it at the upcoming nationals as the sanghathan and sportsmanship was inspiring.
Another stand out of NZ/CZ Zonals was the inclusion of a Kho team from one of our newest chapters to the NHSF UK parivaar, UCLAN. The fact that they were able to get a team of 12 players for Kho and play such a deceivingly simple but strategic game so well and to make it almost out of the group stages in their first tournament was seriously impressive.
In conclusion, I feel like chapters should be proud of themselves not only for their performances in their respective sports but also because of the attitudes on the day. All the dharmic values that we try to implement into our lives were represented across all individuals and chapters in injury, defeat and victory.
- Vivek Motichande, National Events Team Member