A Night so special that it belongs to its own galaxy

Ravi Nyayapati

Monday, October 8, 2018 is an unforgettable day for many.

The revamped,Fifth Indian Newslink Sports and Community Awardshighlighted just why honouring sports personalities and community members sans any age limitation, is so special that it has created a class of its own.

In a glittering ceremony, the Awards organisers were humbled,albeit not surprised, when over 500 people assembled t Alexandra Park to join the excitement.

In the end,a few returned home disappointedafter being unsuccessful at securing door sales. The night was a sellout.

Guests honour people

The punctual Guests of Honour were Members of Parliament Judith Collins,Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Dr Parmjeet Parmar (National), Michael Wood and Priyanca Radhakrishnan (Labour), Blackcaps Opening Batsman Jeet Raval and Auckland Hockey Chief Executive Manoj Darji who mixed and mingled with the crowd gracefully.

Ms Collins spoke of the importance of community participation within the Diaspora. The Community Awards were presented to individuals with significant professional contribution as well as to those who have been volunteering their services forbetterment of the communities.

Chosen Service People

In the professional contribution area, many of the recipients came with long illustrious careers that have seen them rise to great heights in their professions with vigour, passion and true commitment.Many of these fine people have not pursued fame or fortune in pursuit of this greatness, but it is their well-recognised professional excellence combined by their enduring humility, that saw them chosen as worthy recipients.

It was important to recognise people at least a few of them, acknowledging their role in New Zealand’s volunteer sector. Of the 97,000 people involved in New Zealand’s Non-Profit institutions, about 90,000 were identified as volunteers.

A total of 35 trophies were presented in the Community Awards section.

Sports Achievers

The 18 Sports Awards saw winnersranging from a Tweenager and teenagers to those in their eighties.

By strongly backing the Awards, The New Zealand Central Indian Association (NZICA) stressed its philosophy of using the medium of sports for connecting with the next generation through respect.

With their full engagement, the Sports categories saw recipients spread across age groups, and honouring the past players (the Elite), applauding the present players, and showing aspiration in the youth as future stars.

Elite Sports Awards

The showcasing of Elite players pleasantly surprised the audience.

A large number of them were not aware that so many players from the Diaspora had represented New Zealand until their names came up on the display screen.

Some of the yesteryear players have been exceptional, like winning OlympicMedals and having three members of one family representing the country in multiple disciplines.

This kind of awareness and much-deserved recognition is what the made the evening more special.

Jeet Raval inspires

A migrant himself, Raval’s inspirational talk focused on New Zealand, the land of opportunities and the fighting spirit that sports personalities need to tackle moments of highs and low with the same mind set.

Due to the nature of these Awards, families turned up along with their sons and daughters  as well as close friends.  It was a night that special for the recipientsand gave an opportunity for them to share the moment with those near and dear, thanks to the highly affordable ticket price of $50 (plus GST) per person.

All in all, it was a memorable atmosphere and the buzz has already begun for next year’s function which will also include Awards for Arts and Culture.

Ravi Nyayapati is an Indian Newslink Columnist and Project Manager of the Fifth Annual Indian Newslink Sports & Community Awards 2018. A Special, 10-Page Report appears as part of our Diwali 2018 Special in this issue.

Photo :

  1. Elite Sportsmen with Senior Leaders: (From left) Dipak Patel, Ramesh Patel, Mohan Patel, Chandu Daji, Paul Patel and Manoj Daji
  2. National MP Judith Collins with the members of the New Zealand Indian Central Association
  3. Labour MP & Parliamentary Undersecretary for Ethnic Communities Michael Wood (second left) with members of the Indian and Chinese communities
  4. New Zealand Indian Central Association President Bhikhu Bhana welcoming guests
  5. A section of the audience

(Pictures by Narendra Bedekar, Creative Eye Fotographics)

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