Spectacular Annual Sports & Cultural Meet…

The Sai educational institutions held the main event of the Annual Sports & Cultural Meet on 11 January 2017 at the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium.

The event is part of a five-day annual meet that showcases an array of physical and cultural presentations by over two thousand students across the institutions. It is a marquee event for the system of Values-based Integral Education rigorously followed by all the institutions involved. Preparations for the event began a month in advance.

The event was split into two sessions, morning and evening.

The morning session commenced at 0800 with Bhagawan’s ceremonial entry  into the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium, in His car, escorted by motorcyclists and welcomed by the women’s brass band of the Anantapur Campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL). This was followed by an escort by the Slow March Squad, a special contingent that was led by the men’s brass band of the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus of the University.

The March Past that followed included each of the two thousand Sai students marching in unison towards the dais at Shanti Vedika offering their salutations to their Revered Founder Chancellor.

The first presentation was by the women students of Anantapur campus of SSSIHL who performed Rythmic Yoga, a form of Vinyasa or Artistic Yoga which offers a perfect blend of thirty-six yogasanas in tune with mellifluous music of Indian mantras. Following this, a presentation named Pattern Striders created patterns and symmetry as students marched together in unison, with synchrony, synergy and discipline. The last presentation was Sai Rangers, a motorcycle item sport characterized by stunts involving creative and daredevil manoeuvring of motorcycles to display various formations, dead defied jumps, blind jumps, fire jumps and long jumps. The presentation ended with a human formation of the words: Ever Yours.

The students of SSSIHMS College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences then reminded us of the importance of traditional art and dance. The first item was Kamsale Dance, a unique dance form that combined the sounds of cymbal instruments with vigorous rhythmic beats followed by DolluKunitha, an ancient art created and evolved from a group of villagers. It was characterized by vigorous drum beats, quick movements and synchronized group formations.

The morning session ended with an energetic display by the students of Brindavan Campus, SSSIHL. The first item, Yobics, showcased the notion of wellness and optimum health through the art forms of yoga and aerobics. Following this, strength and coordination come to the fore as the Dexters showcased their dexterity with a performance involving creative formations on planks. The final performance of the morning was definitely the showstopper. Skyrunners, as the name suggests, saw daring acts of jumping into the sky using jumping stilts, inline skates and pogo-sticks. Fearlessness, vigour and passion are the qualities that come to mind as the students demonstrated that the sky is certainly not the limit.

The evening session began at 1600 hrs. with the ceremonial procession welcoming Bhagawan into the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View stadium.

Students of Smt. Easwaramma High School presented five colourful and creative presentations. The first one (by Class 1-5 boys) Sponge Bob and Starfish brought the American animated television characters to life. The presentation chronicled the adventures and endeavours of the characters and their friends. Next up were the Class 1-5 girls that performed a Hoop and Umbrella Dance. They artistically juggled hoops around their waist, hip, chest and neck.

Semi-classical Formations by the students of Class 6-10 girls then portrayed a series of semi-classical formations of Goddess Durga, Shiva and Swami. The boys of the same classes then complimented it with a gymnastic display named Body, Mind & Spirit.

The senior students of Class 9-10 then did a Puppet Dance that staged a true learning experience and sent across an inspirational message to young learners out there.

Next up were the tiny tots and senior students of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School. They commanded everyone’s presence with a series of routines starting with a dance as a humble and loving offering of gratitude to Lord Sai. The floor was then painted red fora gymnastics display followed by a Ganesh Dance, after which the item Floral Rhythms depicted dainty angels of Lord Sai creating fountains of joy.

German Wheels, an evergreen performance was followed by a Fairy Drill and a frolicking Hat on The Stick performance to a celestial beat. After a balancing on planks act, they ended their presentation with the item, Fan Fantasy, when enthusiastic trail blazers spread waves of delight as they made waves with their soothing colourful fans with a lovely song of devotion for God whilst hundreds of balloons were released into the evening sky.

It was then time for the senior boys of Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, SSSIHL and Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School to take centre stage. They began with a huge display of Open Hearts ushered into the ground. Rajastan Royals, a mass colourful display of dance and formations with the combined styles of Rajasthani and Gujarati folk art performed with props like sticks, swords, drums, fire, etc. was followed by Impavidos (Gymnastics with trampoline), a display of various types of jumps using the trampoline.

The boys then piloted RC planes flying across the stadium offering their aerial pradakshina and pranams to Bhagawan Baba. Following this, it was time for a brilliant display of Martial Arts. From synchronized moves to tile breaking to nostalgia for Bruce Lee fans with the use of the nunchaku, the audience were treated to a brilliant display of coordination, deftness and skill.

GODS (Game of Daring Stunts), an exhibition of gymnastics skills on the floor, combined with a few stunts through rings was followed by BOS (Balance, Order and Skill), various formations on structures of different heights.

Riders Legion, a scintillating performance with different formations on cycles with stunts thrilled the audiences. They then mixed it up with an item, Punjabi Gabrus, that mixed traditional and contemporary bhangra with jhaal in the timeless spirit of youth and cheerfulness. The stadium was then lit with the ever popular item, LED Light. Visual effects created with props having LED strips dazzled everyone with jazz, funky and intergalactic themes leading home to Prasanthi Nilayam.

Fittingly, the students from Muddenahalli, the youngest campus at SSSIHL brought the event home with a Torch Drill, a visual display of various patterns, including symbols of faith, simple animation and expressions. The last routine of the day was LED & Fire Poi – A visual display of various patterns with LED lights and fire hangings from strings and chains. These patterns include a hue of different colours with fire adding to the thrill.

The programme ended at 1920 hrs with Mangala Aarati offering to Bhagawan.

II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II