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Chief Editors: Anshul Avasthi, Chirag Chadha
4th Oct, 2014
The Inter IIT Aquatics Meet has just concluded tonight with IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee taking the top spots in the Men’s and Women’s Swimming Championships respectively. Sapan Shah reports.
The Aquatics Meet, in its 30th edition this year was hosted by IIT Bombay during October 1-4, 2014 as part of the 50th Inter IIT Sports Meet. The championship included a total of 22 events in swimming, for men and women, of both individual and relay type. In addition, water polo was also a part of the championship. All events were played in adherence to the Fédération Internationale De Natation (FINA) rules and standards. [pullquote]The championship included a total of 22 events in swimming, for men and women, of both individual and relay type. In addition, water polo was also a part of the championship.[/pullquote]
“The swimming standard in events at Inter IIT is at par with the All India Inter-University Meets, as is evident from our records,” said Dr. P. M. Reddy, Organizing Secretary for the 50th Inter IIT Sports Meet, as well as coach of the IIT Bombay aquatics team.
The Inaugural Ceremony kicked off the Inter IIT Aquatics Meet on 30th September, 2014 at the IIT Bombay Swimming Pool in the presence of Arjuna awardee Virdhawal Khade who was the Chief Guest for the occasion. Having started his career at a very young age, Khade currently holds national records in five different swimming events. He bagged a Bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games, and was the youngest Indian swimmer to qualify for the Olympics in 2008.
“Mr. Khade is the finest swimmer in the country today, and at such a young age he is sure to achieve many more laurels. His presence at the Aquatics Championship provided motivation to and boosted the morale of every participant present” said Dr. Reddy.
Musician, singer and composer Gajendra Verma, who is the voice behind chartbusters like ‘Mann Mera’ (Table No. 21), ‘Baarish’ (Yaariyan), and hit single ‘Emptiness – Tune Mere Jaana’ performed at the Opening Ceremony rendering it a non-traditional angle.
Unveiling the Mascot – Chhawa
The mascot for the 50th Inter IIT is a leopard named “Chhawa” which in Marathi means a cub but is also colloquially used to refer to a smart person. The mascot is an epitome of strength, speed, agility and spirit of athleticism. For the first time, the mascot for the Inter IIT is entirely designed by students. [pullquote]For the first time, the mascot for the Inter IIT is entirely designed by students.[/pullquote]
“In July 2014, a leopard had visited our campus, putting us in the news for several days. Hence it made the most sense for us to pick it as our mascot, since the name of IIT Bombay was so heavily associated with the leopard,” said Vaibhav Bhalekar, Design Head of the Student Organizing Committee.
“Usually the participants arrive, play their sport, and leave. This year, we planned to make the entire meet memorable. We have a series of cultural nights planned, and Gajendra Verma’s performance was the perfect flag-off for the same” said Swapnil Chougule, the student Head Coordinator of the Organizing Committee.
Mashal – A Social Initiative
The Inter IIT sports meet is not merely a competition – it is a battle each IIT fights to clinch the coveted General Championship trophy. On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee, the Organizing Committee wanted to make it even bigger and more special by giving back to the community on a truly pan IIT level.
A social initiative was launched at the opening ceremony to help the society by improving the scenario of primary education in the country through the medium of sports. The Organizing Committee decided to raise money through runs that would take place in all 16 IITs. The Inter IIT Torch symbolizing peace, goodwill and harmony, will be sent to all the IITs and the students will run with the Torch. [pullquote]The Inter IIT Torch symbolizing peace, goodwill and harmony, will be sent to all the IITs and the students will run with the Torch[/pullquote] The first run will be held in IIT Bombay on 11th October and runs in other IITs will follow subsequently. A total of 3000-4000 participants, mainly students, are expected to run in these mini-marathons.
These funds will be donated to Smile Foundation, in proportion to the total number of people running. The NGO will utilize these funds on programmes supporting primary education and will help the underprivileged in our society. Apart from that, the children being benefited through this initiative will visit the IIT Bombay campus and an educational tour will be ensued for them.
The Closing Ceremony featuring Shreyas Talpade and Bhakti Sharma
The meet continued for four days, and will conclude with the closing ceremony on the 4th of October. IIT Madras have emerged winners of the Swimming Championship in the Men’s category while IIT Roorkee picked up the Women’s Championship Trophy. [pullquote]IIT Madras have emerged winners of the Swimming Championship in the Men’s category while IIT Roorkee picked up the Women’s Championship Trophy. [/pullquote] Actor Shreyas Talpade will be present at the ceremony for officially kicking off Mashal, by handing over the torches to the captains of the present IITs for the runs at their campuses.
25-year old Bhakti Sharma, the youngest swimmer to have swimmed the seven seas and the four oceans, will be the Guest of Honor for the closing ceremony. The Government of India has bestowed her with the prestigious ‘Rashtrapati Award’ that goes by the name of the ‘Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for Water Sport’ in 2011, presented to her by the honourable President of India. “Bhakti, at such a young age, has achievements to her credit that most people can’t manage even in a lifetime. She’s an inspiration for all of us and I’m sure all participants and organizers alike are eager to meet and hear from her.” says Hetal Rathod, of the Student Organizing Committee.