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A great initiative that deserves support

It was a pleasure to be the Guest Speaker at the Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards Presentation Ceremony held at Alexandra Park on April 9, 2014.

My sporting life spans about 40 years but this was the first Sports Awards Ceremony that I attended where the sole focus was to celebrate the success of athletes of Indian origin across all sporting codes in New Zealand.

These Awards were well overdue and I congratulate Indian Newslink for this initiative.

It was a pleasure to be in the company of about 250 guests including sponsors, sports enthusiasts, entrants, finalists and winners.

Each of the finalists and winners was rightly applauded for their achievements.

The judging panel, headed by Sergeant Steve Smith of Counties Manukau District Police deserves our appreciation.

I had the pleasure of sitting with Ramesh Patel, who was a member of the Judging Panel. He is a former Olympic Gold Medalist and Chief Executive of Hockey New Zealand and my childhood hero.

Quality event

Both of us commented on the quality of the event but agreed that it was important for all Indian sports associations and organisations to take these Awards to a higher level by nominating their achievers to appropriate categories.

We have several national and international players in Cricket, Boxing and other sporting fields and it would be great to have their names nominated.

I believe that the Awards not only foster, promote and celebrate sporting success of Indians in sport in New Zealand but also serve as an inspirational and aspirational goal for young sportspersons in our communities.

Each of us and all organisations in the community including sporting clubs have a part to play next year and beyond in ensuring that worthy contenders are recognised for their talent and hard work in attaining their goals.

Great example

As Jack Bannister, former world record holder for the Mile said, “One of mankind’s basic weaknesses is its inability at times to recognise the success of others.”

Bannister lived his beliefs. He was in Canada to attend a convention but flew to Auckland to attend a function organised to honour Sir John Walker for achieving 100 sub-four-minute miles. After spending a short time at the event, he boarded a plane to get back to Canada to attend the convention.

If we all follow his example and support good initiatives, I am sure that the Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards can build on its current success.

Manoj Daji is Head of Business School at Auckland Grammar School. A doyen of sports education in New Zealand, he was the Chief Guest at the Third Annual Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards 2014.

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