Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball, Netball, Volleyball-Shooting, Kabaddi and Golf are the seven sports that will be played in the two days of the inaugural New Zealand Sikh Games 2019 next weekend.
Scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1 at Pulman Park in Takanini, the organisers will host over 1000 men and women in six games divided into different teams and individuals who will be travelling from different parts of the country to play in the tournament.
“This is one of the biggest sports events organised by an ethnic community in New Zealand, and the participation is simply extraordinary,” Daljeet Singh Sidhu, president of NZ Sikh Games told The Indian Weekender.
The official inauguration ceremony of the NZ Sikh Games will be held between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. which will be attended by community members, leaders, members of parliament, dignitaries and other special guests at the Pulman Park.
A total of 130 matches will be held including finales in six sports during the two days that start at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. There will be 28 Golf matches (individuals), 11 hockey matches of five teams, 13 basketball matches of six teams, 14 Netball matches of six teams, 34 Volleyball matches of 12 teams (6 teams each in Pool A and B), and 18 Volleyball-Shooting matches of 6 teams. For Kabaddi, there are nine men’s teams of which two are coming from Australia and three female Kabaddi teams, one travelling from India.
“As a start for this year, we have just released seven games, and we have over a thousand men and women who have signed up as participating sportspersons for the games.
“We have a lot more games that are on cards such as football, athletics, cricket, badminton, wrestling, touch-rugby etc.,” Mr Singh said.
Besides the tournaments that are scheduled in different grounds in Pulman Park and Hockey at Kolmar Papatoetoe Sports Centre, there are scores of entertainment activities planned during the two days as well.
At Pulman Park’s Ovals stage, a performance stage is designed for several dance and entertainment activities. There are 21 Bhangra, five Gidha, seven singing, five Gathka performances and two comedy acts scheduled during the two days to entertain the visitors.
“We are expecting around 20,000 people over two days, that includes men, women, children, seniors, members of different communities, guests- some of them are travelling from different corners of the country.
“We are having over 500-1000 people travelling from Australia, as players, guests and spectators; approximately 50 people are travelling from India, including a women’s Kabaddi team, dancers, musicians and performers for the event,” Mr Singh added.
The organisers have also arranged langar for the visitors, and separate four stalls dedicated to providing a number of snacks, and drinks for the visitors at the venue.
A separate section has been made for the children at the Rugby field in Pulman Park where children will be served healthy breakfast and lunch food, and different fun activities planned such as face painting, bouncy castles and 15 types of rides.
Three LED screens of sizes, 18, 20 and 40 square metres are placed inside the venue that will broadcast games and stage activities to the public.
Celebrating the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, an exhibition is also arranged at the venue for the visitors and the guest.
“This year we are celebrating the 550th birth anniversary of our Guru, Guru Nanak Dev and to spread his teachings and message of love and brotherhood, we have arranged a photographic exhibition on Sikhism that will showcase Sikh culture, history and also bring 45 different paintings of Guru Nanak Dev ji,” Mr Singh added.