The Dalhousie Institute Sports Awards night is a night that is looked forward to eagerly by not only the Sporting fraternity but the whole club. It is a night when we recognise and celebrate the achievements of our sporting heroes. It is a night when friends who have fought against each other in the sporting arena are now cheering for each other as the awards are announced. It is a night when the youngest players like 10 year old Dhairya Mittal and the oldest like 76 year old Hannanbhai, all turn out proudly to receive their awards.
This year’s awards night started on a poignant note when the whole sporting fraternity stood up in a minute’s silence to pray for one amongst them who they lost very tragically and at a very young age. Rucha Chanda will live on in our memories as a champion.
The chief guest for the evening , Russi Jeejebhoy , is someone who the club is very proud of since he too is one of us. Russi Jeejebhoy’s list of sporting achievements are very long and at the very top is his playing cricket for India when he toured to the West Indies with the Indian cricket team in 1971. Russi Jeejebhoy for us at DI is a living legend.
After a welcome address by the Club President Jayajit Biswas, Russi Jeejebhoy, also a former President of DI, shared his rich experiences as a sports person and also exhorted young parents to strike a balance between studies and sports for their children. He felt it was extremely important for both boys and girls to go out and play in the field or play any sport that they had an interest for. But play they must.
Next up was what the packed crowd had turned up for- distribution of the awards. Two new sports were introduced in the DI this year, Indoor Rowing and Air Rifle shooting, and it is with these that the distribution of the awards started. One after the other names were announced and glittering trophies and beautiful mementos were given out. Loud cheering rang out as winners of Basketball, Pool, Snooker, Billiards, Swimming, Tennis , TableTennis went up the stage to receive their awards. The hard work put in by them and the laurels they brought to the club were being rewarded in front of so many club members. It was wonderful to see that there were so many winners from the same family where parents and children had all taken part and won awards. The Mittals, Gulatis, Kumars, Saba,Naseembhai and Rayd the grandson, Gary and his sons, Divyak Doshi and his son and so many more. This is how sport is played in DI!
Our MC for the evening Gary O'Brien in his trademark sense of humour kept the audience engrossed and engaged throughout the evening.
Every award ceremony has some special awards for some special winners- DI too honoured these special winners.
If Syed Hannan Ali is not on the tennis court then the club has be closed! For several years now Hannanbhai has been on the DI courts. He started as a player, became Captain, became MIC, and Convener – you name it and he has done it. Not only does he still play but Hannanbhai continues to be the driving force behind Tennis in DI. He is currently the Tennis Convener and also a mentor to so many young kids who play at the DI. The Club this year honoured his achievements by presenting him with a much deserved Life Time achievement award. There was a standing ovation for another of the club’s living legends as he was presented with the award. Many, many congratulatons, Hannanbhai.
At the DI Yatin Bhimani is synonymous with Table Tennis. For years Yatin Bhimani has been the driving force behind table tennis in the club. His heart and soul we very firmly believe belong to table tennis. The passion over the years that he has shown for the sport is unbelievable. Recognising this passion and the driving force behind the sport the club honoured Yatin Bhimani with the Captain of the Year award. Congratulations Yatin Bhimani and wish you many more successes.
Swimming, basketball and soccer are not only sports that Rhea Rao plays but also excels at them. After finishing a basketball game in the morning, Rhea rushes to play a soccer game and then quickly gets into a cab or makes her dad drive her to where the swimming team is competing to jump in and win a gold for the team! And all this for her passion for the DI! Who then can be a better person to win the Player of the Year award but Rhea? The club is blessed to have a player as talented and as passionate as Rhea. We are all very proud of you.
The wonderful evening ended with a vote of thanks by the President who while congratulating the winners wished them all the best for the coming year.
A very enjoyable evening organised very efficiently by the Sports Committee under the guidance of Puneet Sabharwal, Council member in charge of Sports.