Ramesh Patel was the firstIndianHockey New Zealand-Indian international.
He went to four Olympic Games. The highlight was being one of the first Indian persons to ever get a gold medal outside of India.He later became Chief Executive of New Zealand Hockey and Representative to the International Hockey Federation.
Mohan Patel played with Ramesh Patel as schoolmates. One was a Forward, while the other was a Halfback. They tussled with tackling practice, played for the same Club, the same Province and ultimatelyfor New Zealand. Little did they know that one day they would be jointly hoisting the Gold Medal for New Zealand.
Women feature well in many areas. New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote. The firstIndian woman to represent her country at the Olympic Game did so in the surprising sport of Boxing.
Culture and sports do mix.Siona is a Bharata Natyamdancer from a top Indian Dancing academy she is currently in Melbourne.
Cricket is not just a passion but virtually a religion in India.
Our second IndianCricketer to represent New Zealand learnt his trade at the nursery of English county Cricket. He set the cricket world alight with his performance at the world cup in 1992.
Dipak has played 37 Tests and 75 One Day Internationals for the New Zealand Cricket Team. He is the current spin bowling coach to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League for the current year.
Narotam Puna Family
To play for New Zealand is a fabulous achievement but to have four Internationals in three different sports is amazing.
In the Puna Family, the grandfather was the first Indian to play cricket forNew Zealand. Two sons played Representative for Northern District. One grandson played Soccer for New Zealand.Two grandsons played Hockey for New Zealand.
New Zealand Rugby League has seen players who have strived not only to become stars in their right but also coach and mentor aspirants. Steven Smith has been an impressive Rugby League player and has shown keen interest in promoting youngsters.
He has always advocated an Awards Scheme to recognise and reward the sporting talent among the members of the Indian community. Apart from encouraging young people to play Rugby League, he also managed the judging process of the first four Sports Awards of Indian Newslink, since 2012.