Excitement is starting to build as the rejuvenated Annual Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards (INLISA), now in its fifth year, takes shape at a rapid pace.
These Awards signal a significant shift by Indian Newslink in its approach and community engagement in relation to sports amongst the Diaspora.
Sports play a crucial role in the lives of most families with the involvement of either the adults, or in many cases children from the family.
Yet, the platform for its wider communication and recognition have been limited so far and Indian Newslink is committed to changing this position.
In mid-2015, readers provided constructive feedback on the lack of prominence given to sport in this newspaper. Their response has been overwhelmingly positive.
First, the coverage given to sports has been increased unreservedly and each edition of the paper now carries sports articles.
This coverage goes beyond the predictable importance given to Cricket, and over the past year has included Rugby Union, Tennis, Boxing, Football and Rugby League with specific focus on the New Zealand Warriors.
Second, knowing how strongly sports embrace a socio-political significance by helping connect the community, friends and family with an emotional bond, we are committed to making the Annual Awards a grand event in line with its highly successful and popular Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards.
Through a committed sports coverage, this newspaper has been able to bring to limelight in the past year the achievements of young sports personalities of Indian origin, among who exists abundance of talent and potential.
Now, through the Awards programme, the aim is to recognise and reward these sportspersons who have brought glory to their sports clubs, schools, associations, regions and New Zealand.
Since the announcement of the Sports Awards on December 21, 2015, there have been requests from the public for some changes.
We have listened and three amendments have been made. They are (1) The categories for Awards have been revised (as reported in our February 15, 2016 issue) (2) The last date for submission of nominations and entries has been extended from March 31 to April 15, 2016 in recognition of the Easter Holidays and the adjacent School and University holidays (3) The Awards function has been moved from May to June 2016. in view of the shift in the conclusion of the entry process.
The Awards will recognise and reward not only established players and veterans but also young aspirants. Readers will find it fascinating that the young stars can make their initial mark in sports recognition with the inclusion of two ‘Best Under 12 Player of the Year’ Awards – one for Soccer and one for Other Sports.
Additionally, there are three ‘Best Under 18 Player of the Year’ Awards covering Soccer, Cricket and Other Sports.
The total number of categories remains at 12 individual categories.
The ‘Best Sportsman of the Year’ and the ‘Best Sportswoman of the Year’ will be determined by the judging panel from the finalists and winners of the individual categories.
The Awards are ready and waiting for their rightful recipients.
The entry process
The joy and confidence a budding star and his/her family will get from a community based recognition cannot be described in words.
This is only possible if nominations are properly entered. It takes only a few minutes to nominate someone using a simple two-page electronic form.
I encourage all readers to pass the message to friends, families, school, clubs and other channels.
I am privileged to be the Convenor of the Panel of Judges, truly independent of Indian Newslink. The Panel comprises Dame Susan Devoy (Race Relations Commissioner), Judge Dave McNaughton (Ministry of Justice), Inspector Rakesh Naidoo (New Zealand Police), Priyanca Radhakrishnan (Labour Party Policy Council), Jamie Milne (New Zealand Football Association), Denise Ewe (New Zealand Maori Netball), Dr Philly Karani (Cricket Expert) and Aklesh Sharma (Soccer Expert).
Entries and nominations to all categories are open to people of Indian origin, including citizens, permanent residents, migrant workers and students, so long as they hold a valid, legal status. Tourists and visitors are not allowed to participate in Awards Programme.
The finalists and winners will be announced at a Presentation Dinner Ceremony to be held in Auckland in June 2016, the details of which will be announced in due course.
Please download the entry form, rules and regulations from the website www.inlisa.com, choose any number of categories, complete the entry requirements on your computer, save in PDF format and email your entries to email@example.com on or before 6 pm on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Please do not fax, mail or courier the form.
Ravi Nyayapati is one of our Sports Correspondents based in Auckland. He is the Convenor of the Independent Panel of Judges of the Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards 2016.
File Pictures of Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards 2013