With an increasing number of sports enthusiasts in the community, the Auckland Tamil Cricket Club has now formed a bigger organisation as an umbrella representing different sports events in Auckland Tamil community.

The new association ‘New Zealand Tamil Sports Association (NZTSA)’ was launched with a formal inauguration ceremony in the presence of community leaders, sportsmen and women, and members of the community at Fickling Community Centre in Three Kings on December 16, 2018.

The event officially launched the new organisation that will lead sportsmen under its banner representing outdoor and indoor cricket, outdoor and indoor football, badminton and soon introduce netball and volleyball for the young sportsmen and women.

“Since the number of sports activities and competitions our community sportsmen are participating is increasing- we planned to bring different sports activities under one umbrella and provide equal opportunity and boost to each sport for our community members,” Secretary of NZTSA Mesh David told The Indian Weekender.

“We have three cricket teams, have young sportsmen not just participating in different tournaments but also winning championships in badminton, and soccer- so we started planning about NZTSA and launched it in December 2018,” Mr David added.

“The purpose of forming NZTSA is also to foster well-being and provide support to children youth and women through sports and recreational activities and keep youths active and disciplined.

“We aim to reduce stress, anxiety, increase self-esteem, and reduce depression but also want to create a social and emotional environment to make friends and connect with people and challenge stigma and discrimination to promote a sense of belonging in New Zealand,” Mr David said.

NZTSA is lead by Ashok Thavarajah as the Chairman, Yoganathan Maruthamuthu as vice-chairman, Illamaran Sivaraja as Treasurer, Angeline Thiruchelvam as Women’s coordinator, Sanujan Thavarajah as Event Coordinator, Saktheepan Selvanayakam as Fundraising Coordinator and Mesh David as Secretary.

NZTSA or formerly known as Auckland Tamil Cricket Club in the last five years has won or claimed at least second position in several championships such as 5B Social Grade - Champion in 2013-14,2A - Social Grade Runners up in 2017-18,  6A Side Softball Tournament Champions, Indoor Cricket Autumn and Winter 2018 Mens 2 champions etc.

The event also took the opportunity to felicitate Sanjay Kumarasingham who is hailed as the pioneer and architect of NZTSA.

“Sanjay Kumarasingham gave us all his precious advices and guided us to make NZTSA a dream come true. He has contributed in many ways to the Tamil community in New Zealand,” Mr David added.

In recognition of the young sportsmen who participated in different competitions and emerged champion in soccer and cricket tournaments, the event felicitated them with medals and encouraged them to get more such championships home for NZTSA in 2019.

NZTSA is organising Pongal Vizha (celebrated by the Tamils) and kite flying competition for the community in February 2019.