After schools reopened in Bengal a month back, Sushila Birla Girls’ School celebrated its annual sports day in a hybrid mode on December 23, 2021. The entire event was streamed live on the school’s official Facebook page.
“With the onset of the pandemic, children within the confines of their homes had to cope with little physical activity and too much screen time.
To come to this slowly but surely, co-curricular activities made a comeback in its virtual avatar in our school. And this year, we decided to go ahead and hold sports in a hybrid mode as students from the senior section have come back to school and are attending classes. Thanks to technology, today we are able to actually celebrate the never-say-die spirit of all the members of the sporting community in our school.” said Koeli Dey, principal.
The annual sports meet was graced by chief guest Manoj Tiwari, eminent cricketer, who sent his wishes virtually to the young students. “Being a cricketer, I always believe in the importance of hard work, determination and discipline in one's life. I would like to advise students to pursue their dreams with passion, combined with self discipline. In my eyes, every participant is a winner because all have braved the difficulties of pandemic times and are still working hard to overcome the challenges,” said the cricketer who has played in the Indian and Bengal teams and the Indian Premier League.
The march past was led by the school’s head girl, Swaati Agarwal, deputy-head girl Rajavi Agarwal and four house captains Garima Sekhsaria, Prachi Modi, Isha Lohia and Prajakta Patodia - all Class XII students.
"Leading the squad was magical. As the head girl, it was my privilege and honour to march with the school flag, flying high. Having spent a year and a half at home, it was just so exciting to return to school. The entire student council was elated to participate in the events, and cheer for their house members. The preparations began a few weeks back, including practice sessions for athletes,” said Swaati.
As the junior and middle school students are continuing with virtual classes, they participated virtually as well. A variety of races were performed by students of classes I to VIII, which were pre-recorded in their home environment. This was followed by a Zumba show by students of Classes IX-XII and yoga by students of Class IX. All students had to wear masks during their shows.
A recorded karate show was put up by students of Classes IV-VIII, where students showcased wooden stick display, nunchaku display, urumi display, sword fight, tile breaking and Kalaripayattu.
Classes IX and XI participated in circuit training, exhibiting their prowess in a rigorous display of a set of exercises including flapjacks, spot jumping and crunches. Rishika Manna, a student of Class IX won the first prize. This was followed by an obstacle relay-race that celebrated team spirit, precision and coordination saw participation from Classes X and XII. The race was won by Ridhi Jain and Medha Musaddi from Class XII and Livia Seth and Disha Patni from Class X. “Holding the baton in my hand and finishing the race first made my last sports even more memorable,” said Medha for whom it would be her last sports day in school.
"My passion for karate and other sports made me work hard even during the lockdown. It was also the support of my coach, Sensie Shabaz Khan, and my physical education teacher Mrs Begum who helped me maintain my fitness with the help of online training and virtual competitions,” said Ridhi Jain, who won the relay race.
Not just for students, races were held for teachers and staff of the school as well. The practice sessions for the annual sports meet began two months ago, before the Durga Puja break.