Sporting legends and political leaders at our event on June 19

Venkat Raman
Auckland, June 16, 2023

Roshan Mahanama, who has earned an indelible name in the history of Cricket and five other sporting legends who have represented New Zealand at international events will be among more than 650 people attending the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Awards on Monday, June 19, 2023.

Raman Lala (awarded posthumously) for Roller Hockey, Balvant Bhana and Umesh Parag (Hockey), Rajesh Ravji (Karate) and Jeet Raval (Cricket).

Statistics and Earthquake Commission Minister Deborah Russell, National Party Leader Christopher Luxon, New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters, ACT Party Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden, current and former Members of Parliament, candidates contesting in general election 2023, sponsors and community leaders will be our Special Guest of Honour.

The event will be held at Swaminarayan Complex located at 1/7 Wilmay Avenue in the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe. Entry to the event is by tickets priced at $69 per person including GST. Tables seating 11 persons at $759 (including GST) are also available. There will be no gate sales.

For further information, please call 021-836528. Email: venkat@indiannewslink.nz

The Programme will include speeches, traditional Indian and Sri Lankan Classical dances, Bollywood and South Indian film dances and the introduction of electoral candidates representing Labour, National, New Zealand First and Act Parties.

About Roshan Mahanama

Roshan Siriwardene Mahanama is one of the greatest Cricketers of the modern era and holds the record for second wicket partnership- a mammoth 576 runs with compatriot Sanath Jayasuriya playing against India in Colombo, beating the earlier record held by Australian legends Sir Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford. It is also the longest-standing partnership in Test Match history- lasting more than two days (and one hour). He scored the highest (225 runs) in that Match.

Mahanama’s achievements are anchored to his remarkable Cricket career at school, where he had the honour of being the first to win the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year award in two consecutive years (1983 and 1984). He is a former Elite Panel Match Referee for the International Cricket Council and a former Member of the Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee.

He is currently a freelance March Referee for many International Cricket Leagues and Tournaments and has officiated in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2010-2016), Pakistan Super League (PSL 2016-2019), Masters Champions League of the UAE (MCL 2016) and T10 Cricket League of the UAE (TCL 2017-2019).

Mahanama is engaged in many highly impactful philanthropic initiatives. He was a Goodwill Sports Ambassador of the World Health Organisation to Asia and is a Brand Ambassador of many charity organisations including the Hemas Outreach Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka, the Ayati Centre of Excellence for Children with Disabilities, the Arrya Welfare Foundation for the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka and Mithuru Mithuro Movement to support the prevention of drug addiction across the country.

Mahanama was honoured with the title Deshabandu, a National Honour conferred by the Sri Lankan President after the World Cup victory in 1996. He was also made the Honorary Life Member of the prestigious MCC (Lords) in 2001.

Winners of our Sports, Community, Arts and Culture Awards 2022 with Guests of Honour (INL Photo by Narendra Bedekar)

About the INL Awards

While the establishment of the Indian Newslink Annual Business Awards in 2008 pioneered and fulfilled the need to motivate, recognise and honour excellence in various aspects of the industrial and commercial sectors of the New Zealand economy, there was no proper recognition of achievers in different areas of sports. This need was addressed as the Indian Newslink Sports Awards Programme was launched in 2012.

Six years later (2018), volunteers, charitable and social welfare organisations were recognised with the inclusion of Community Awards. The following year (2019) saw the addition of Culture and Awards sections and a record 120 achievers were honoured.

Winners of these Awards are decided based on nominations from communities open to people of Indian, Fiji Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, and Nepali origin. Commemorative Awards are also presented to people of Maori, Pacifica and European ethnicities for their services to various communities. Nominations are received usually from March 15 to May 1 through calls made on Indian Newslink and social media websites and WhatsApp groups.

Sports Awards: These include all types of outdoor and indoor sports including players, coaches, managers and clubs and associations. There is increasing interest from health clubs and fitness centres but these are commercial entities and hence are encouraged to enter our Business Awards, the call for which goes out on March 1 with entries closing on August 31.

Elite Sports Awards: The New Zealand Indian Central Association chooses men and women of the community who have excelled in sports during their life and career, invariably representing New Zealand at international matches and tournaments.

Community Awards: Individuals,  Registered Associations, Registered Charitable Organisations, Places of Worship, Registered Societies, Religious Services (Organisations and Individuals), Social Workers, Volunteers and others are considered for these Awards.

Arts Awards: These are for Graphic Artists, Architects, Architectural Designers, Cartoonists and others; Photographers, Painters and all other Creative People of Non-Performing Arts.

Culture Awards: Choreographers, Producers, Directors, Conductors, Dancers (Classical and Contemporary), Musicians (Vocalists and Instrumentalists) and all other artists of Performing Arts are among those qualifying for these Awards.

Commemorative Awards

The Indian Newslink Commemorative Awards recognise contributors and achievers in various fields of activity serving communities.

As a part of this segment, Indian Newslink has established five Awards in memory of those who distinguished themselves for services to communities during their lifetime. These include Raman (Ray) Ranchhod, Wenceslaus Anthony, Dr Robert Khan (Senior), Ravin Lal (Founder-Publisher of Indian Newslink) and Baljit Kaur Singh. Indian Newslink Commemoration Awards are presented to people for their distinguished services in the name of the publication.

Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Immigration Minister Michael Wood said: “We are proud of our South Asian communities in New Zealand and they have been true partners in the progress of our country. We are happy to participate in these Awards instituted by Indian Newslink and we hope that more and more achievers will be recognised at these Awards in the ensuing years.”

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