New Zealand will host its first ever Sikh Games event that was announced earlier last weekend to be held in November-December this year.

New Zealand Sikh Games (NSG) that is a modelled replica of Australian Sikh Games will feature more than 500 athletes from different parts of the country over two days, November 30 and December 1, participating in over a dozen sporting competitions and cultural programmes.

NSG is an ambitious event planned for a long time to bring one big sporting and cultural event for the Sikh community in New Zealand. The launch event and unveiling of the logo and website were done at Pulman Park, Takanini, the same place where the event will be held later this year.

The launch event was attended by over 300 members of the community, representatives from different sports and cultural clubs, representatives from different Sikh temples etc.

“This is one of the biggest events for the Sikh community in New Zealand, and it is happening for the first time,” Daljit Singh Sidhu, Games Manager of NSG told The Indian Weekender.

Athletes can register themselves in different sports competitions organised in this event such as Football, Kabaddi in which both men and women can participate, hockey, golf, shooting, tug-of-war, basketball, netball, sprint races, athletics, and even Gatka and Dastar competitions. Cultural events include Bhangra, Gidda, singing, stand-up comedy and other small fun activities.

“We appealed the community through our event, social media and word of mouth and in less than one week – we have received a huge number of applications- the response is phenomenal,” Daljit Singh said.

“As expected, this overwhelming spirit of participation shows the enthusiasm of young sportsmen and women and the appetite of such massive scale events in the community,” Daljit added.

The official launch event also saw different sports categories assigned with conveners who will take charge of assigned game’s registrations, fixtures, laying the rules etc.

The event will see an opening parade, Hakka performance by a local group, band, and other cultural performances.

“The opening parade will be like that of Nagar Kirtan that is hosted by Sikh temples, but bigger and more grand,” Daljit added.

The event also aims to provide a platform for young Sikh boys and girls who will be able to showcase their talents, either in sports or cultural activities.

“We encourage the children of our community to participate in this mega event- this will give them the idea of participation and the sense of competition on such a massive national scale of the event,” Daljit added.

The organisers aim to see more than 20,000 people turning up at the events in two days at Pulman Park, Takanini on November 30 and December 1.

“Following the model of Australian Sikh Games, we aim to make this an annual event in the Sikh community’s calendar in New Zealand,” Daljit Singh concluded.

For registration for both sports and cultural activities, interested people can visit the website www.szsikhgames.org, or visit its Facebook page for more information.