Annual Athletic Meet 2022

Senior Sports Shines Once Again on SJBHS Grounds

Marked as a red letter day in every Josephite calendar, thought of only in terms of ‘blue and white’ and glorified in ‘golden’ words years after leaving the portals of the school, is the Sports Day at SJBHS!

In its 165-year-old history, the school is renowned for its prowess in the academic and sports arena. Needless to say, the Senior School Annual Athletic Meet holds sway over all other events ear-marked for the year, especially this year after two years of a no-show due to the pandemic.

Exuberance, exhilaration and excitement were the predominant emotions during the days leading up to September3rd, 2022. However, fear of inclement weather was always in the shadows. The worry turned to joy as the day broke, to glorious sunshine and smiling Josephites, as they assembled, in rank and file, in their marching contingents representing the four houses of the school.

The Chief Guest for the Opening Ceremony, Dr Kumardev Arvind Rajamanya, Leading Consultant and Orthopaedic Surgeon at Manipal Hospital Whitefield/ Old Boy (Batch of 1997), was escorted to the grounds by our Principal Fr Sunil Fernandes SJ; Former Principal of SJBHS, Fr Michael John SJ; Vice Principal, Mr. Brian McKertish; Primary School Administrator, Fr Vishal D’Souza SJ; President of the OBA, Dr. Praveen Rodrigues; Vice President of the OBA, Mr. K T Lazar; Vice President of the PTA, Mr. Clifton Pinheiro; and Secretary of the PTA, Ms Priyadarshini. The line-up of dignitaries throws light on the importance of the Sports Day and the involvement of the collaborators of the school in all its activities.

The Chief Guest hoisted the school flag and took the salute as each contingent paraded past the grand stand. The highlight of the march past, however, was the squad consisting of the Old Boys (Batch of 1997) who celebrated 25 years of passing from the portals of the school. Mr. Brian Mckertish welcomed the guests, parents and staff while asking the students to enjoy their day and gather memories for posterity. Dr Rajamanya spoke on the values generated through Sports and games. He stressed that health, character and mental relaxation could be achieved through Sports. With that, he declared the Games Open.

Balloons were released as a symbol of joy and freedom; a dove set free was symbolic of peace and harmony; and then the lit torch was carried through the ground to burn in the cauldron symbolic of the connection between the ancient games and the modern Sports as well as a symbol of faith and integrity during the games. The students took the Oath to abide by the true spirit of sportsmanship through the games.

The morning session concluded with the Prize Distribution and the Vote of Thanks. This threw the field open for the track events scheduled for the day. At the far end of the field, the tents housing the students of St Andrews, St Davids, St Georges and St Patricks were in open combat with verbal slogans, drum beats and vociferous cheering as their only ammunition while encouraging their athletes to make a dash to claim gold!

The Closing Ceremony commenced with the drill displays to a packed audience. Mr. Ashish Ballal, Former Indian Hockey Captain/Arjuna Awardee/Ekalavya Awardee/ Olympian and Asian Games Gold Medalist/ Old Boy, was the Chief Guest while Mr. Jimmy Anklesaria was the Guest of Honour. The drill display of Class 5&6, with pom poms as their prop, was a study in augmented coordination. The display by the students of Class 7&8 was attuned to the rhythm of the pre-recorded musical beats. The students of Class 9&10 stuck to tradition and displayed their prowess with the age old ‘Club Swinging’ – just like the batches of yester years!

The concluding March Past allowed the students to gather into the field for Part II of the Prize Distribution. Fr Sunil, addressed the audience, re-iterating the fact that SJBHS was the only school to contribute 10 Olympians to date. Mr. Ashish Ballal, in his speech, threw light on the four D’s of sports namely Drill, Dedication, Determination and Drive.

The flag was lowered and handed over to the Principal to symbolize the end of the games. The National Anthem echoed through the still audience and the day drew to an end. What remained was the camaraderie, the amity and the solidarity which will resonate long after the students bid farewell to the school and seek their own paths in life. The values of patience, perseverance and persistence learnt on the playing fields of SJBHS will hold them in good stead as it has been doing for the thousands gone before!

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