Best sportsmen and sportswomen of Indian origin in New Zealand were honoured at the Third Annual Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards 2014 held at Alexandra Park in Auckland on April 9, 2014.
About 250 guests attended the glittering event where awards were handed out in 11 categories, encompassing several sporting disciplines, in addition to honouring the Best Sportsman and Best Sportswoman of the Year.
Netball and Soccer led the merit list.
Alysha Prasad, a teenage Netball player won the Best Sportswoman of the Year Award, while striker Roy Krishna who plays for Wellington Phoenix, bagged the Best Sportsman of the Year Award.
Indian Newslink Managing Director Ravin Lal said that the Awards Scheme aimed to acknowledge the significant contributions people of Indian origin make to sports in New Zealand and encourage youngsters to take up some form of sports to boost their mental and physical wellbeing.
The list of finalists and winners aptly reflected that aim.
Among those recognised for their achievements were the following:
Edwin Pillay won the Best Boxer of the Year. The middleweight division boxer was highly regarded by an independent judging panel for his all-round ring skills.
Soccer, one of the most popular games across the globe, found frequent mention at the Awards Ceremony. Altaaf Sahib won the Best under 19 Soccer Player of the Year Award, while Shailendra Lal, captain of the Tavua senior team (Auckland), was named the Best Player in the Veterans Soccer category.
With its high visibility on television screens, a competitive national All Whites football team, and a strong Phoenix team in League A represented by players like Roy Krishna, soccer will find even greater patronage from people of Indian origin in this country in the ensuing years.
The Gentleman’s game of Cricket saw Eden Roskill batsman Musa Patel get the Best Under 21 Cricketer of the Year Award, as he was joined by Papatoetoe Club all-rounder Arminder as the Best Cricketer of the Year.
Contrary to some misplaced beliefs, Rugby League is gaining traction with the wider Indian community, as evidenced by 16-year-old Mithilesh Gosai who won the Best Rugby League Player Award.
Future of sports is bright when many young people evince interest. Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards recognise this principle, and hence instituted the Young Achievers category. Arzan Todywalla, a talented Futsal player, took this Award.
Shiv Sabhrawal won the Best Golfer of the Year. With Lydia Ko, a girl of Korean origin representing New Zealand and producing excellent results in the sport, Shiv does not have to look far for inspiration.
It was double celebration for the Auckland Fiji community Netball under 17 Captain Alysha Prasad, as she also won the Best Netball Player of the Year.
Among the highlights of the evening were the presence of Chief Guest Manoj Daji, Master of Ceremonies Imran Sheikh and entertainment.
Daji, a celebrated Hockey and Cricket player and Coach, regaled the audience with his entertaining and engaging talk on succeeding in life and sport.
The event was interspersed with soulful singing and music provided by AA Entertainment.
Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards will be back in 2015, supporting champions, who are enriching the world of Kiwi sport.