Sports are an important constituent of higher education in most premier education. Sports help add vitality to life on campus and help the student develop the important soft skills in terms of team spirit, sportsmanship and the ability to handle failure.

The Board of Student Activities of the G.D Goenka University organized its 1st Annual Sports Meet ‘SPORTOPIA’ on 20th and 21st November 2014. It was the grandest and the most awaited event in the University calendar. Given the excellent and extensive sporting facilities at the university campus, the event offered a bouquet of ten sporting events including field events like Cricket, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball and Kabaddi and indoor events like Squash, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis, Pool and Swimming. Invitations were sent out to over 60 institutions in Delhi NCR and neighboring states. SPORTOPIA received participation from more than 1000 students from over 25 Universities/ Colleges including Delhi University, K.R Mangalam University, Amity University, Manesar, Amity University, Noida, A.P.J Satya University, Galgotia University, UILMS, ITM University, KIIT Group of Institutions, IMS Unison University, Dehradun, Dronacharya Government College, IBS, NGF, Palwal etc.

The event was flagged off at a glittering inaugural ceremony with Prof Silvia Elvira Piardi, Director of Politecnico Di Milano as the Chief Guest. The ceremony commenced with the arrival of the Chief Guest and a foot-tapping number by the GDGU music team, which had the whole auditorium singing with them. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dean Student Welfare and Chair, Board of Student Activities welcomed the participating teams. The most solemn part of the ceremony however was the oath of fair play administered by the Honorable Vice Chancellor, Dr. Raj Singh that was taken not only by the participating players but also by all the Deans, faculty members and all GDGU students. The Chief Guest Prof Silvia Elvira Piardi thereafter declared the Meet open, amidst thunderous applause, release of balloons and confetti blasts.

The events started with great enthusiasm and excitement among students. Many of the participants were state and national level players. Over a 100 matches were planned and played over the 2 days. There was a draw of lots for fairly deciding the opponent teams for all the games. It was amazing to see new faces playing in the same court and sharing great sportsman spirit. As the students’ wild cheers rent the air, the players, with grit and determination, raced to achieve victory and glory for their respective universities/ institutions.

A significant feature of Sportopia was the presence of African students on the teams of atleast two universities, ApeejayStya University and G.D. Goenka University during basketball and volleyball matches. These students brought firepower, skill and stamina to the game, winning admiration of spectators and participating teams, where they dominated, bringing in subtle changes in the way these games were being played.

The most awaited event Cricket, saw players from Dronacharya Government College as the winners, while Amity University, Gurgaon as the runners up. For Pool the winner was Ashwin from K.R Mangalam University with Rohan from IMS Unison University as the runner up. For Table Tennis Singles we saw Ghanshyam Rai from IMS University and for Doubles Siddharth Saini from GD Goenka University as the winners. Lawn Tennis singles was won by Ashish Yadav from Amity University, Gurgaon. Swimming and Squash again saw GD Goenka University players as the winners. For Kabaddi and Basketball, players from Noida College of Physical Education and Pearl Academy, Delhi were the respective winners.

All the teams commended GDGU for conducting a very transparent, well organised event where there was not a single dispute in over 100 matches played.

The Vice Chancellor congratulated all the players by awarding them with cash prizes as well as certificates. He encouraged the students to be part of extra-curicular activities, a variety of which are already being pursued at GD Goenka University, the cradle of excellence. There were also participation certificates for all the players. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dean, Student Welfare was very happy with the splendid achievement and extra ordinary commitment of the Faculty team members as well as the student volunteers. He also took the opportunity to thank all the Deans for their splendid support extended in making the event a grand success. The Meet was declared closed and all gathered dispersed with the expectations of yet another exciting, closely-contested Sports Meet the following year.

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