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Love and Light

Region 1 - Sports Day 2012

August 2012

"Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it." - Sathya Sai Baba.

Region 1 Sports and Family Value day took place on the afternoon of Saturday 30th June 2012 at Tooting Bec Athletics Track in Wandsworth, South London. With the Olympics coming to the capital in the summer of 2012, this day provided the opportunity to create a buzz amongst the Sai children and their parents as they took part in their very own day of athletics. The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 in Athens, and following a morning of traditional British downpour, Swami graced the day by recreating the sunny Mediterranean climes found in Greece.

A well executed march by the SSE children in their pristine white clothing with banners and Olympic flames to hand kicked off the Sports day. Pupils aged between 6 and 15 were placed into houses named after the five human values: the boys were divided into the Sathya and Dharma houses with the girls being allocated to either the Prema, Ahimsa or Shanti houses.

Once the students had changed into their sporting attire, they were led across to their respective starting points for the first events, which were the 100 metres sprint and the obstacle race for the boys and girls respectively. At least one member from each house represented each age group of 6-8 years, 9-12 years and 13-15 years of age.

After the first 100 metres heat, the boys were called back for the 200 metres which they did fantastically in. Even though not all were able to run at full pelt to the finish line, they all completed the race which was the important lesson, for Swami says we must: "fight to the end and finish the game"

The idea behind these sporting events is to encourage healthy competition, and show how important teamwork and team spirit are. As our Divine Master says; "the mind sees separateness; Love sees unity." The boys practiced this by splitting into four teams and playing a round robin football tournament. The girls played rounders which even got the parents involved. Later in the day the parents and youth got a chance to stretch their legs as they too were involved in 100 metre sprints for the ladies and gentlemen, and also an adult versus youth tug of war.

As the sports events drew to a close, the focus was drawn to a set of performances in front of the pavilion where Swami's chair resided. There was a play by each house demonstrating their teamís values in action which brought out fine acting skills from the SSE children - not to mention amusing their audience with their light hearted quips. Most importantly, the dramas provided the opportunity for students to think carefully about practicing their values when facing daily obstacles, and to inspire the audience by sharing their solutions with them.

The results of the sports day were then announced and as the sun drew closer to the horizon, the day was rounded off with Aarti to our beloved Bhagwan and each student left the sports facility with a token bookmark in remembrance of a brilliant Sathya Sai Sports day 2012.

Jai Sai Ram
Punit Ghumra