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Sports Day at Sacred Heart: A Day of Inspiration and Perspiration

By Kasi Sagayaraj SDB
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Chennai, Aug. 17. The scintillating display of athletic power and poise at the 62nd Annual Sports Day of Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur, on 14 August, was fittingly graced by the presence of two world-renowned sports persons: India's Champion of Champions Para-athlete and Arjuna and Padma Shri awardee Dr. Ms Malathi Holla and Padma Shri Syed Kirmani, former wicket keeper of the Indian Cricket team on the stage along with Dr. A. Amuldoss, Director of the Dept of Physical Education, Tiruvalluvar University, who presided over the function.
The Principal Fr. C. M. Vargese welcomed the gathering and set the tone of the day by reminding everyone - the players on the field and the cheerers in the gallery - of the Olympic creed, ''the important thing is not to win, but to take part''.

The celebrations began with the hoisting of the national flag by Padma Shri Kirmani who also reviewed the parade and took the salute from the smartly turned out athletes and officials.

Dr. Amuldoss, during his presidential address, illustrated the importance of physical exercise to keep one's body and mind active and alert. He also spoke about the many special privileges that the University gives to sports persons.

Padma Shri Dr. Malathi Holla, a Para-athletic athlete who lit the ceremonial lamp at the start of the event, exhorted the students to build self-confidence and be good citizens of the world. Malathi, with over 300 medals in her kitty and the prestigious Arjuna and Padma Shri awards, represented India in four Paralympics, besides four Asian Games, two World Masters Games and Commonwealth Games. She is one of the most inspiring sports personalities of modern times. When she was one year old, stricken by polio, she lost the use of her leg and spent almost 15 years in hospital and underwent 32 surgeries. She fought back and won glory as a Para-athlete. She told the students physical disabilities shouldn't be an excuse for failure in life. Of course, the example of her life spoke even louder than her words.  

Padma Shri Kirmani, while giving away the prizes and trophies, urged the students to develop their personality through disciplined lifestyle and by cultivating good habits.

The commerce department (Shift I and Shift II) won the overall championship.

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