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ICAR-IIHR hosted ICAR South Zone Sports Meet from 13th to 16th December, 2023 at Bengaluru

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The ICAR-South Zone Sports tournament was hosted by ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru spanning from 13th to 16th December 2023 at the Sports Ground, GKVK, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru. It featured an exciting show of competition, connection and celebration of the spirit of sportsmanship.

 About 700 participants  from 23 ICAR institutes from the Sothern states of Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa and from ICAR Headquarters, New Delhi have participated in various sporting competitions. The sports meet covered diverse range of sports including athletic events such as 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 4x100 m relay and 1500 m races, javelin and discus throw, shotput, high jump, and long jump. Team events like volleyball, football, basketball, cricket, and kabaddi, as well as indoor games like badminton, chess, carom, and table tennis were also a part of the exciting lineup.

The inaugural function saw the esteemed presence of Dr. S.V. Suresha, Vice Chancellor of UAS, Bengaluru, as the chief guest. In his address, Dr. Suresha emphasized the significance of sports and extracurricular activities in the workplace, highlighting their role in alleviating job-related stress and promoting a balance between the mind and body. He underscored the importance of employee fitness, emphasizing its direct correlation with work productivity and the overall achievements of the institute. Presiding over the event was Dr. Sanjay Kumar Singh, Director of ICAR-IIHR and Chairman of the organizing committee, welcomed the participating contingents, expressing his hopes that the tournament would foster sportsmanship, healthy competition, and valuable networking among the participants.  The esteemed dignitaries. Shri GP Sharma, Joint Secretary (Finance), ICAR(HQ), and Dr. Prakash Patil, Project Coordinator (Fruits), added their distinguished presence to the occasion.

The first day of the tournament (13th December, 2023) included 15 events covering 12 individual athletic events and 3 preliminary set of team events like Kabbadi, Football, Table Tennis and Cricket. The second, third and fourth days had fifteen, seven and five events respectively. The final day had the most awaited 800 m race (men), 4x100 m relay race (men and women), T10 Cricket, Badminton and Volleyball smashing finals. Each event witnessed neck-to-neck contest between the contingents exhibiting healthy and encouraging competitions.

Based on the maximum individual points earned, Mrs Venkatalakshmamma from ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru was selected as the Best athlete (women) and Mr. Aneesh from ICAR-CPCRI, Kasaragod was selected as the best athlete (men). The runners-up trophy of ICAR-South Zone Tournament with a total of 75 points was won by ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi and the overall champions trophy of ICAR-South Zone Tournament was won by ICAR-IIHR with a total of 137 points.

The closing ceremony of the tournament was held in the afternoon of 16th December, 2023 at the Sports Ground, GKVK, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru. Shri. Eapen P.V, Inspector General, CEDCO, BSF was the chief guest for the occasion. Dr. N. B. Prakash, Dean (Agri) and Dean of Student Welfare, College of Agriculture, AS, GKVK, Bengaluru and Sri. Hemant Kumar Jha, DIG, CI were the guests of honour. Dr. Parveen Kumar, Director, ICAR-CCARI, Goa also graced the occasion. Dr. K.S. Shivasankara, Co-chairman, organizing committee welcomed all the guests. This was followed by the team march past of all the sports contingents. Later, Dr. R. H. Laxman, Chairman, organizing committee presented the brief report of all the events of ICAR-South Zone Tournament. Dr. N.B.Prakash in his address congratulated and complimented ICAR-IIHR for hosting the tournament successfully. Sri. Hemant Kumar Jha highlighted the importance of sports activities emphasizing the proverb saying “Healthy mind resides in healthy body”. Shri. Eapen P.V in his address appreciated the green campus maintained by ICAR and GKVK authorities. He also emphasized the participation from different age groups congratulating the willingness and courage shown by all towards participation. He also wished and congratulated all the ICAR staff for not only participating in the sports meet but also for making India food surplus from the period of poverty. This was followed by presentation of awards to all the runner ups and winners of team events and also overall championship trophy. Retiring staff of ICAR contingents were also honoured by presenting mementos to them. Dr. Sanjay Kumar Singh, Director of ICAR-IIHR and President of the organizing committee congratulated the entire team of ICAR-IIHR for organizing the event successfully and for winning the overall championship. The programme was concluded with vote of thanks by Dr. Anil Kumar Nair, Co-organizing secretary of ICAR South Zone sports tournament.