The second edition New Zealand Sikh Games is back this weekend with more local players and an increased number of teams participating in the annual sports event. 

NZ Sikh Games was inaugurated in 2019 following the model of Australian Sikh Games and was declared a massive success with over 20,000 visitors during the two-day weekend event last year.

The 2020 edition, despite Covid-19 in the country, is witnessing a massive increase in the number of players registering in 17+ sporting categories and from all corners of the country.

Speaking to the Indian Weekender, Kamal Basiala from NZ Sikh Games said that the organisers were fearful if the number of registrations might go down as border closure prohibited the participation of any overseas players.

“The scale of registrations from local players and teams for the games surpassed our expectations.

“We have witnessed new clubs emerge and register with us across almost all games, and young players, both male and female enthusiastically registering for single and athletic team games,” Kamal said. 

Football, athletics (100, 200, 400, 800 metres and 5km), hockey, basketball, volleyball, Netball, Golf, Tennis, Badminton, Kabaddi, Cricket, Wrestling, Tough Rugby, Shooting, Tug-of-War, Gatka and Dastar competitions will be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 28 and 29 at Bruce Pullman Park in Takanini and a few other sporting grounds in Auckland.

“We have planned some activities for every age group of people; we have fun rides like a bouncing castle, water slides and more for the children, two-legged and three-legged races for men and women, senior citizens also get to take part in small games and cultural performances throughout the two days of the event,” Daljeet Singh, president of NZ Sikh Games told The Indian Weekender

The event will commence with a parade of the team walking with their flags followed by the official inauguration ceremony and cultural dance performances. The games will be held from the morning simultaneously on all outdoor grounds and indoor courts, and cultural performances on the massive stage. 

The event will also be streamed on multiple LED screens across all the grounds, halls and indoor courts so that people do not miss any games if and when they are off the ground. 

The organisers say they are taking all necessary Covid-19 precautions throughout the venues with scores of Covid Tracer QR Codes on display, hand sanitisers, masks, sunscreens available for everyone. 

The hosts are making special arrangements for senior citizens present at the event by allocating special parking ones, select vehicles available for them to move from one ground to another. 

“We are excited about the second season of NZ Sikh Games and have huge expectations from this year’s event. 

“We are thrilled to see several new teams and clubs sign up with us not just from Auckland but from Christchurch, Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga, Rotorua, North Shore and small towns from across New Zealand.

“We have arranged food, water, juice, soft drinks, sweets and snacks for our visitors, and participants to come at the event,” Mr Daljeet Singh added.