Playing sports, staying fit beneficial for the body and mind, says boxing champ Mary Kom

BITS Pilani Sports Festival concludes on a high note and cements its position as the largest Sports Festival in the UAE

Mary Kom (middle) is felicitated by Prof. Srinivasan Madapusi, Director BPDC (right) and Dr. M. Rafiuddin, Convener, BSF. — Supplied photo
Mary Kom (middle) is felicitated by Prof. Srinivasan Madapusi, Director BPDC (right) and Dr. M. Rafiuddin, Convener, BSF. — Supplied photo

By Team KT

Published: Wed 30 Nov 2022, 4:41 PM

Vigour, Valour and Victory, were the buzz words at BITS Pilani Dubai Campus, (BPDC) as the five-day inter-university sporting extravaganza, BITS Pilani Sports Festival (BSF) concluded successfully on November 25.

The 19th edition of BSF set a record as 34 universities and 5000 students across UAE participated in the event, thereby cementing its position as the top sports festival in the UAE.

This edition of BSF also featured ‘BSF for Schools’ that saw 18 schools with over 1000 students competing in a variety of events.

The closing ceremony was graced by world women’s boxing champion Mary Kom, as the chief cuest, Prof. Srinivasan Madapusi, Director of BPDC, Dr. M. Rafiuddin, Convener, BSF, students and staff from various colleges and sponsors.

Celebrating the Spirit of the Union and symbolising the animal conservation efforts, the Arabian Oryx, was declared as the official Mascot of BPDC in the presence of Callum Howard Chase and Saeed Mohamed Alhashmi, the Education Officers from Dubai Safari Park.

The mascot was named MAHA, which means ‘radiant’, ‘beautiful eyes’ in Arabic and ‘great’ in Sanskrit.

BITS Pilani Sports Festival (BSF) concluded successfully on November 25. — Supplied photo
BITS Pilani Sports Festival (BSF) concluded successfully on November 25. — Supplied photo

High intensity games, nail-biting finishes and the spirit of sportsmanship were witnessed as the teams vied for top spots in multiple sports categories such as football, cricket, throw ball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and athletics along with indoor games like chess, badminton, and table tennis.

This year also saw introduction of a new category — women’s boxing, wherein Samreen from Ras Al Khaimah Medical Health & Science University and Hana from BITS Pilani Dubai Campus played a match in the presence of Mary Kom, making it a memorable event. The adrenaline rush was strongly felt among the spectators too, as the teams battled it out to crown the best of the best in each category.

Addressing the students of BITS Pilani Dubai Campus at the closing ceremony, Padma Vibhushan Mary Kom, said: “Playing sports and staying fit are not just beneficial for the body but also for our mind. It will help us live a longer, stronger life and study better by improving concentration. This is the secret of my success in whatever I have achieved so far.”

Her wise words resonated well with the audience given the recently concluded Dubai Fitness Challenge.

The BPDC team received massive support on the home ground as they played every match like champions and deservedly won the overall championship trophy with five gold medals and three silver medals. Middlesex University were the runner-up with four gold medals and one silver medal.

Prof. Srinivasan Madapusi, congratulating the participants and the winners, said: “Invariably, sports and physical activities are usually not deemed important for a healthy and successful life. BITS Pilani Dubai Campus makes itself an exception by hosting the biggest sports festival of UAE with every edition witnessing growth in participation. BITS Sports Festival has always been more than a conventional sports fest and I congratulate each and everyone associated with it for making it a resounding success year after year. We are grateful to Mary Kom, who attended the event as chief guest and shared valuable lessons of her life with the students. They are our true role models and sources of inspiration.”

Among the universities that took part in the event this year were Heriot-Watt, De MontFort University, Amity University, Middlesex University, University of Dubai, Westford University College , Al Ghurair University, City University College of Ajman, Dubai Men's College, Gulf Medical University, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Higher College of Technology, United Arab Emirates University, RAK Medical and Health Sciences University, Skyline University College, Manipal University, S.P Jain School of Global Management, SZABIST, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine, Canadian University of Dubai, Success Point University, Victoria University and University of Sharjah.

BPDC this year hosted the second edition for the schools where a total of 97 matches between 18 participating schools in 16 sporting categories took place. The schools which participated were the Delhi Private School, Sharjah, Delhi Private School, Dubai, GEMS Millennium School, Sharjah, St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Dubai, Dubai Scholars Private School, Ambassador School, The Winchester School, Bright Riders School, Bhavans Private International English School, New Indian Model School, Dubai, Creative British School, JSS Private School, Oxford School. Dubai, Indian International School, DSO and Gulf Asian English School, Sharjah.

Issam Barakat, Sports Coordinator, The Higher Colleges of Technology, said: “I take this opportunity to thank and express our pleasure to BPDC for organising such a successful sports festival. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have wonderful memories”.

The excitement was not just confined to the sports field. There were live events, mouth-watering food, background music, fun interviews and jolly games that kept the audience enthralled. Surge of emotions were felt as the event ended with Dr. M. Rafiuddin thanking all those involved organising and conducting such a memorable event.

BSF 2022, was indeed a memorable event with extraordinary matches, good camaraderie amongst the students and stunning performances that truly exhibited the spirit of sportsmanship.

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