The annual Isha Home School sports day began with an eclectic mix of nerves, excitement and a culmination of days and nights of preparation. One could savour the moment with a feeling of satisfaction as one stood in the basking light of the sun to see the four teams, each with their own colorful tent. Each team was named after an ancient Indian kingdom, and they decorated their areas using a kaleidoscope of colours and imaginative features, like model horses on wheels for the Marathas, amongst many such details for the other teams. It was truly a vision of achievement, sparkling with bundles of endurance and creative imagination. The pride with which each team displayed their creations and their prowess for the sports they were representing was beyond belief. The day began with an abundance of energy and it ended with a beautiful dance of joy with no sign of exhaustion but a complete sense of elation and celebration. There was no feeling of winning or losing but just a sense achievement as the children enjoyed their festivities towards the end of their day.

The following are sharings from some of the children:
Abhinand – Marathas (student aesthetic co-ordinator)

I have been an active member in the decor team for all previous sports events. Though I have been in winning teams before, in terms of the stipulated decor points this has been my best and most cherishable year ever! It was not my involvement, not the decorations we put up, but the team spirit. Our entire team was enthusiastic and effervescent, creating something very wild and unexpected! We had managed to manifest what our captain and vice captain had envisioned. From the bubbling junior’s right up to the adults, we were all having a blast! The many late nights we had to create our structures were supported by a wonderful supply of light snacks that we munched on, thanks to our creative chefs in the teams.

The projects that were undertaken were quite huge and the structures manifested of our team that was synonymous with unity and fun. Wow how related they are!! We stayed up for many nights working on the decor, making our horses look like horses rather than dinosaurs. It was never tedious thanks to the entertainers who were available with their humor and creative monologues. Our final ensemble included horses on wheels, sky planes, flags and a very ornate tent, all of these got us our much needed five points. In the end our team stood last, in spite of that we were still very much vibrant till the end and felt elated by our collective efforts and the team spirit!! Nothing was lost and we gained so much and the team became a family for the few weeks we worked together!! In fact to quote the captain and vice captain “We’ve won over ourselves”

It was happiness that prevailed at our camp, a certain high in the atmosphere! For a few of us this was the last sports day, since we are graduating this year, hence it was a most memorable event tinged with a bit of emotion and nostalgia.

Sneha Ganesh (Captain of the winning team)

Speech on receiving the winning trophy
“It’s an honour for me as a captain to receive this trophy on behalf of Kakatiya. We tremendously enjoyed the month long competition including all the team events and aesthetic arrangements. It was nice to see our team members give their best in everything that they did. The other teams definitely kept us on our toes as they continued with their relentless spirit! We acknowledge the constant support and guidance of all the adults in our team. I salute the spirit of sportsmanship and the complete involvement of everyone here. Over the next few years I am sure we will break all our current records and will continue to test the limits of human capabilities and endurance. This is the spirit that we strive to walk with as we experience and participate in one of our time-honored traditions.”

Varun Srinivas’ [XIIth] – Closing Speech

This sports day has been very special and different from the previous ones I’ve experienced. This is mainly because it is the first (and last) sports day where I was not able to participate in any of the events because of my knee injury.

Instead of feeling down, I decided to make the best out of the situation. As days progressed, I found myself opening up to new things which I would have normally shrug off, like house decoration! For the very first time, I was actually looking at my team with much more intricacy, and instead of focusing on my own training and on the competitions I would be participating in, I was getting more and more involved with my team, the Marathas. For the first time I was experiencing what leadership is truly about. So what is a good leader? I think anyone who manages to train the juniors for march past is a very good leader! Or at least it’s a very good training process to become one!

Looking back at my first year in Isha Home School, I don’t remember having a sports day, just like I do not remember having any classes either. As we, the students, grew up and watched our teachers and house parents grow up with us, things started to take shape. Today, with the exuberant march past we have and the creative decoration, I don’t think any other school celebrates their sports day in such a unique manner as we do.

Even though we have teams competing against one another for the same trophy, this day for us is more about coming together and winning over ourselves. As Sadhguru says, sports is all about going beyond one’s limitations.

It has been a privilege and honor to be part of Isha Home School, imbibing various qualities like leadership and sportsmanship. Looking at the people around me here today, I know beyond any doubt that things can only get better!

I would like to thank all the people – students, teachers, and ashram residents, for making this day happen in the wonderful way it has. Above all I wish to thank Sadhguru, without whom none of this would have been a living reality for us today.