When we launched the Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards last month, we were confronted with the usual apprehensions, punctuated by anxiety and even second thoughts.
“Will it Work? Will commercial organisations support the project with their patronage and sponsorship? Will there be sufficient entries to justify the Awards Scheme? Who will be the judges constituting a panel independent of Indian Newslink and Sponsors?
We soon found to our delight that all these apprehensions and fears were unwarranted. Less than three hours after our February 1, 2012 issue hit the newsstands, a number of people called our office to appreciate the initiative and promising support.
“You have created a sterling product in the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards, motivating Indian businesses to compete under various categories. These Awards have become a major source of inspiration for the community not only to promote their products and services but also a strong motivating factor to put in place proper business plans and strategies.
“Indian Newslink is now creating a new vista for our sportsmen and sportswomen to foster their talent. We have surging talent among the members of the Indian community and we are sure that the Sports Awards will achieve their main purpose of recognising and rewarding the achievements of our people. We will extend all support,” they said.
An inspiring initiative
Counties Manukau Police Sergeant Steven Smith was yet another source of strength and encouragement as he readily accepted our invitation to the Convener of the Judges.
“I have always advocated an Awards Scheme to recognise and reward the sporting talent among our men and women. There is a pronounced need to encourage our youngsters to take up sports, to not only boost the image of New Zealand as a sporting nation but also help them to remain physically and mentally fit. I am confident that the Awards Scheme will grow from strength to strength, year after year. I am as excited about the Awards as you and other judges are,” he said.
As well as an expert Rugby League, Touch Rugby and TAG player, Smith is adept in almost all the games in which the Indian community is involved.
Suresh Din, Director Food Safety (NZ) Ltd, Sponsor of the ‘Best Under 19 Soccer Player of the Year’ category agreed, saying that our young men and women have the liberty to exercise their choice in education, career and sports.
“But it is the responsibility of the parents to generate the interest in them from their formative years and participate more actively in their pursuits,” he said.
“The Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards 2012 would evince the interest of the youngsters, when they know that they will be recognised and rewarded for their achievements. Such interest will undoubtedly extend to Rugby and Rugby League in which we do not often see Indian players, he added.
Mr Din said that his company would be able to reap the benefits of sponsorship, as sports unified people and families.
Dylan Dutt, Managing Director, South Seas Distributors (NZ) Ltd congratulated the newspaper for launching the Sports Award.
A sports enthusiast, who would love to watch a good game of Soccer, Rugby League or even Rugby, his company is the sponsor of the ‘Best Rugby Player of the Year’ category.
“I am happy to have had the opportunity to join hands with Indian Newslink in promoting the Sports Awards to recognise and reward achievements of the members of the Indian community in New Zealand,” he said.
Mr Dutt has been supporting Rugby League players in New Zealand and in his native Fiji and hence feels gratified to be involved with the Project.
“This will certainly encourage our young people to participate in all kinds sports. We anxiously look forward to the Awards Night on May 12, 2012,” he said.
It took less than three minutes for Nilesh Prakash, Managing Director of Food 4 Less Supermarket (Otahuhu and New Lynn) to decide on the sponsorship of the ‘Best Senior Division Soccer Player of the Year’ category.
“It does not take long to decide on such a great initiative. We have always been with Indian Newslink to promote our company, its image, product and services and we see the Sports Awards Scheme as another great avenue to not only to enhance our image in the market but also encourage our sportsmen and sportswomen to improve their performance,” he said.
Mr Prakash said Soccer is a major sport in which the Indian Community is heavily involved, along with other ethnic groups.
“The Awards Scheme is a great way to encourage and support our young enthusiasts to participate in the sport they love,” he said.
Editor’s Note: The profiles of our other sponsors and judges will appear in our ensuing editions. Entry forms for the various categories of the Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards 2012 can be obtained from Indian Newslink (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Completed forms must be sent by email only to email@example.com on or before 6 pm on April 8, 2012. Entries sent by any other means to any other address will not be considered. The decision of the judges will be final and no correspondence will be entertained in this connection. For details, please call Ravin Lal 0n 021-753699.