SAIIER 2019:Auroville Sports Resource Centre (AVSRC)

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SAIIER 2018-19
Auroville Sports Resource Center (AVSRC)


Playing sports can be essential for individual physical well-being and also has several social benefits like channelling aggressive energy through positive and beneficial activities. Sports can be a platform for excellence, allowing individuals to develop essential skills like concentration, discipline, cooperation, team work, endurance and to develop their full potential – thereby helping prepare the body for the eventual transformation as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Auroville Sports Resource Centre (AVSRC) coordinates regular trainings, coaching camps, friendly matches and tournaments as part of on-going efforts towards human unity through sports. Strengthening the relation between Auroville and its surrounding villages is another aim, which we try to reach through a growing communication based on the bilateral interest in sports and culture.

Activities of the year:

I. Kalari

A traditional Kalari has been constructed in the Aspiration sports ground. The Auroville Kalari team was very pleased to receive support from the Bajaj Auto CSR grant (2017-18) towards manifesting this. Although Kalari Payat has been practiced from the early 80’s in Auroville, with Kalari masters passing through over the years, a traditional Kalari was never established. Now the Aspiration Kshetram Kalari has been established and regular training for children and adults takes place there. This year, AVSRC supported the purchase of 2 sets of swords and shields for their weapons’ training program.



II. Kabaddi

The Auroville Kabaddi club organized the 45th Pudhucherry State Kabaddi Championship for men and women in Auroville at the New Creation sports ground from the 3rd to the 6th May 2018. This was a grand event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Auroville with all our neighbours through this Kabaddi Championship. Hundreds of people came to watch the matches from all around. Some 1,200 players (men and women) participated in the 124 league matches that were played. It is noteworthy to mention that an Auroville women's Kabaddi team was also fielded in this Championship. During the championship, a medical camp was also organized for the benefit of the players and the general public with the help from Padmavathy Hospital.

III. Badminton

AVSRC partially supported the annual Certitude Badminton league in August 2018. There were 8 categories of matches played: sub-junior girls doubles, sub-junior boys doubles, junior girls doubles, junior boys doubles, women's doubles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and outreach men.

IV. Basketball

The Certitude basketball league was organized only for the juniors this year, during the Auroville birthday week. Six mixed (boys and girls) teams consisting of 10 players each were formed from the Auroville and outreach school children to play in this league. Two matches every evening were played for a week from the 21st to the 28th of February.

For the seniors, an All India invitation basketball tournament was organized in a grand manner inviting teams from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Pudhucherry. This tournament celebrated Auroville 50th anniversary in the new indoor stadium constructed with funds from the 50th Anniversary Celebration GOI funds at New Creation sports ground.



V. Women’s music and culture

AVSRC supported the purchase of a much needed musical instrument: a veena for Aurohamsadhwani Art Center. This center helps organize music classes and coordinates performances for Auroville and Outreach children.

VI. Transport

AVSRC supports regular training in basketball and organizes transportation for Auroville and outreach school children participating in the basketball activities in Pudhucherry state.

VII. Rural volleyball

Regular trainings in volleyball and fitness for the youths and children are carried out by one of our staff at AVSRC for the 10 immediate villages surrounding Auroville. During these daily training sessions in the evenings and mornings, awareness in keeping their villages and play area clean is also done by arranging cleanup programs using the youth and children to pick up the non-bio degradable trash and disposing them accordingly.

Outcomes:

Sports, games and cultural activities are some of the best means to reach out to our neighbors that have positive and beneficial effects. Through these activities, AVSRC is able to reach out and support the youth and children of our bioregion for their physical well-being. Through regular trainings, matches and tournaments, several hundreds of children and youths are reached by our efforts towards a growing human unity.

Reflections:

These sports, games and cultural activities are very meaningful approaches towards our efforts in approaching human unity. The challenges are how to avoid and not muddle into the local village politics knowingly or unknowingly when a large number of local populations are involved. It is a delicate approach that is learned through time and mistakes.

The joy of sharing through these activities and programs while also teaching and learning from these activities and programs of the ways of life in both the villages and Auroville is very enriching especially in the context of the multicultural, multilingual multi-ethnicity of the people involved.

Conclusion:

The sports and games activities coordinated by AVSRC involve a lot of people from the villages surrounding Auroville, especially the children and youth of both genders. Even the elderly and the village headmen / Panchayat leaders participate with joy as they feel happy and honored to meet and present the medals and trophies to the winning youths and children. The youths, for their part, participate in the sports and games activities with joy and competitiveness and shine in these activities to be recognized as good sportspersons. Such interactions bring about a better understanding of one another and help to create friendship, goodwill, harmony and pave the way for Unity.

AVSRC would like to improve / upgrade the sports facilities and sports infrastructures for the Auroville bioregion. In this respect, AVSRC has been approached by the Auroville Working Committee to help develop the Adventure sports ground. A concept development proposal has been submitted, and we will be taking the project forward.