Prasanthi Nilayam, 15 January 2023:
The Prize Distribution Ceremony of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet 2023 for the Sri Sathya Sai educational Institutions was held on 15 January 2023, on the auspicious occasion of Makara Sankranti, at the Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh.
The ceremony celebrated the excellent performances in sports, cultural and fine arts events during the academic year 2022-23 by students of the Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions by honoring them for their achievements.
The programme commenced at 8:20 a.m. with a grand procession comprising the University brass band, students chanting Vedam, and a flag-bearing squad.
Speaking about the auspiciousness of Makara Sankranti, the Master of Ceremonies Sri C R Santosh, Research Scholar, Dept. of Physics, welcomed the assembly to the Prize Distribution Ceremony. He spoke about the unity in diversity that exists in the varied ways the world celebrated the festival of harvest. The prize distribution ceremony he said is a grand culmination of all the efforts in the true spirit of sportsmanship for the honor of our country, the glory of sports, and our beloved Mother Sai as in the oath taken by students.
The first speaker Sri Sai Vinod, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Management and Commerce, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) spoke on how, by the grace of Bhagawan, the students overcame the varied challenges behind the scenes, like shorter practice window due to examinations, injuries and equipment breakdown and put up a grand display of courage, fearlessness, skillful dexterity, flexibility, majesty, valor, rhythm, melody, colors, and depiction of multi-ethnicity at the recently concluded sports meet.
His talk was followed by a series of brief talks by the students of both the School and the Institute. The speakers were Sri Divyansh Rathore of Class XII, of Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School (SSSHSS), Ms. Aiswarya Lakshminarayan, II M.B.A, of Anantapur Campus, Sri Ayush Jain, III BCom (Hons.) of Brindavan Campus, Sri Y Sai Tarun Mouli, III B.B.A. of Muddenahalli Campus, and Sri R Rama Subramanya Gargeya II M.B.A. of Prasanthi Nilayam Campus.
The students spoke about how all the efforts that go into the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet across campuses, be it school or the institute has just one single objective – that is to make Bhagawan happy, smile, and clap for them. And to achieve this, they were willing to push themselves out of their normal comfort zones to perform and participate in a manner that even surprised them with their capabilities. They saw the short practice and training period as a crash course that taught them through several tests, various life skills that they will cherish forever, most importantly tailor-made lessons the way their Master would want them to learn. It is during these tests that students gain the realisation that they are just instruments and the actual doer is Him. Unprompted, every effort, every activity is an expression and an offering of pure love for their Master who is the very embodiment of love.
The Prize distribution then began with the Founder Chancellor’s Cups of love being awarded by the Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri K Chakravarthi, IAS (Retd.), to the respective captains and vice-captains of each of the Institutions and campuses for the dedication and the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by the students of each institution.
The Physical directors of each campus then came forward to submit their prize lists to Bhagawan and seek His blessings. Post which, the trophies, medals, and prizes for the House and Individual championships were awarded under various categories.
Sri R J Rathnakar, Managing Trustee, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), awarded the House Championship trophies of both the Institute and the School, and also the Individual Championships of the School. The Individual Championships of the Institute was awarded by Prof. B Sai Giridhar, the Vice-Chancellor of SSSIHL.
The categories under sports comprised of 9 track events – 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10000m, 4 x 100m, and 4 x 400m relays, and 7 field events – shot put, discus, hammer, and javelin throwing events, high jump, long jump, and triple jump, along with over 11 team and individual games like basketball, football, cricket, volleyball, ball badminton, handball, lawn tennis, table-tennis, tennikoit, badminton, and kho-kho.
The categories under cultural comprised over 25 categories that included debate, drama, elocution, quiz, instrumental, light vocal, modelling, mono acting, mime, orchestra, painting, photography, poster making, short story writing, sketching, stotram and vedam chanting, yoga, classical dance, bhajan antakshari, Carnatic and Hindustani classical vocal, mehndi, cartooning, clay modelling, and more.
The Institute saw 1016 students from all four campuses participate in sports and cultural activities. Over 1278 prize winners (730 sports and 548 cultural), were awarded which included 113 Gold, 81 Silver, and 82 bronze medals for Athletics. 28 Championship trophies were awarded which included 12 each for Athletics and cultural, and 4 for Fine arts.
For participants from the School, the Individual Champion winners for both juniors and seniors were awarded, in addition to the Athletics House championship, Games cup, Talent search programme cup, and House championship to the respective Captains and Vice-captains of the winning houses. At the end of the prize distribution ceremony, to mark 40 glorious years of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, a commemorative issue titled “Dheemahi’ was offered to Bhagawan.
In the Divine benediction that followed, Bhagawan stressed the importance of gaining mastery over our own inner self and the heart than going after worldly knowledge or scholarship of the scriptures. This He said will help students develop their inner culture thus purifying and broadening their hearts along with intelligence. This quality, He said will help students develop compassion and humility, which is the hallmark of true education. Speaking about the Holy Makar Sankranti, Students, He said must emulate the qualities of the Sun – that works tirelessly without any rest in a selfless manner providing light and warmth to the world thus sustaining life, and without any traces of ego despite the enormous power it has. In the journey of life, He said students must carry the ticket of love and faith in God to reach their destination safely.
This was followed by Bhajans and a few pieces by the Brass bands of the Anantapur and Prasanthi Nilayam campuses, and Prasadam distribution. The ceremony concluded with Mangala Arati being offered to Bhagawan.