Published on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 @ 1345 hrs.
ANNUAL SPORTS AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL 2011 - Day 1
The Annual Sports and Cultural Festival occupies a prominent place in the calendar of events of the students’ curriculum in the hallowed Sri Sathya Sai Educational institutions. Students from colleges and schools and people from far and near come in large numbers to witness this grand spectacle of the students. This event is entirely organised and choreographed by the students and staff of the educational institutions. Showcasing of sports events is usually done on the 11th of every year with dramatic presentations on succeeding days and ends with the prize distribution function on the Sankranti festival. This year the sports events will be spanned over a period of two days and would be an evening affair. On the 11th evening, all the campuses marched sprightly to lilting tunes of the Institute’s brass band followed by an exhibition of daredevilry and rhythm by the Anantapur and Brindavan campuses with a short programme by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, College of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences. This was the maiden performance by the College of Nursing students.
Bhagawan arrived at the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium at 5 p.m. in an immaculate white robe through the northern end of the stadium overlooking the Sri Sathya Sai Primary School. A motorbike escort of students drove in regally welcoming Bhagawan into the stadium. The Anantapur campus band, slow march squad bearing flags and the Institute brass band formed part of this grand procession. After Bhagawan ascended the dais, He lighted the ceremonial lamp to mark the beginning of the proceedings. At the outset, more than 1,600 students from Bhagawan’s educational institutions marched past the dais saluting Bhagawan. The first contingent was the tiny tots from Sri Sathya Sai Primary School followed by Smt. Easwaramma High School – English Medium (again a first performance by the school), Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences), Sri Sathya Sai Junior College for Women, Anantapur, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School, Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Brindavan Campus and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus. The Revered Chancellor of the Institute, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba then hoisted the Institute flag and the Institute Captain administered the oath to take part in the sports events in the Annual Sports and Cultural Festival in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the honour of the country and the glory of Mother Sai. After the ceremonial lighting of the sports torch by Bhagawan, the athletes of the Institute in pairs carried the torch aloft to a point in the hill near the Chaitanya Jyoti museum from where the torch-bearer of the sports meet, a tropical multicoloured parrot took it to its destination, an urn at the Hanuman hilltop. The urn was lit to a thunderous applause from the audience. Bhagawan released doves symbolising peace as bunches of balloons soared in the sky. The Anantapur Campus band and the Institute Brass Band marched past the dais saluting Bhagawan. This marked the conclusion of the march past event.
The evening’s sports performance began with the sports and cultural events by the Anantapur campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. The first item was showcasing of stunts on Apache 160 RTR motorbikes. The presentation was christened “Aim High, Soar High”. The feats included crisscrossing on bikes, balancing acts – some of them were truly stunning. An awe-inspiring stunt was jumping across girls lying on the ground after getting the elevation from a ramp, and smashing an obstacle with consummate ease. After the bike stunts was a cultural event featuring different formations with colourful bands of cloth.
The next presentation was Yogasanas on a structure designed like a ship. Students performed various postures on the ship’s mast. The formations and balancing acts were eye-catching and inspiring. The theme of this presentation was “Sai is the anchor, Sai is the lighthouse and Sai is the destination”. The last item, “Imagination is the highest kite” was an innovative performance with kites. Sankranti is the season for kite flying. Taking this cue, the students made formations with kites. After this, the students converged for the final formation releasing colourful balloons.
The next presentation was a short one from the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences). Dressed as nurses, they brought out the nobility of the nursing profession through various formations and dances.
The last presentation for the evening was from the students of Brindavan Campus. The first performance was from the brass band of the campus, which played a few pieces. The next item was a dance with balance and dexterity – the flavour and fragrance of Lord Jagannath of Puri. A beautiful backdrop of a peacock in full bloom with lights was an added attraction. They made various yogic postures and beautiful balances, one on the other. Dragon dance in typical Chinese style was performed by the students which gave the aura of the Chinese ambience. This performance was marked by rhythm and harmony on huge drums. A discerning viewer got a feel of the Chinese culture with martial artistes performing with the ferocity of a tiger. Shifting over to the ancient Indian style of martial arts, students showed combat formations and styles with swords and sticks followed by a demonstration of actual combat with sticks and swords.
The last performance for the evening was on a huge suspended structure. Students made beautiful formations beginning with 85 Years of Love. It was a treat to watch students joining each other’s legs and hands to make these formations. Calling themselves aerial acrobats, these messengers of love performed with skill, dexterity and balance. Their feats ended with the beautiful formation, “We Love You Sai – Yours Forever”. Arathi was offered to Bhagawan at 6.45 p.m. Thus ended, the first day of Sports and Cultural Festival of the Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions.
The second day’s performance will be by the students from Bhagawan’s educational institutions in Prasanthi Nilayam including the institute, the higher secondary school, the primary school and the new entrant Smt. Easwaramma English Medium High School.