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The project Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) has been initiated with the aim of boosting the well-being of the body, mind and economy of the people in rural India and thereby uplifting their lives.

But what rejuvenation can be brought about when people lack enthusiasm at the physical and mental level? In order to inspire enthusiasm, celebration is the key and what else can bring in celebration and enthusiasm better than sports. Realising this, we have introduced sports in Gobichettipalayam, Sathyamangalam and Perunthurai to the local people of the villages. Men play volley ball and women play throwball.

Very soon the people from these villages began to show interest in the sports. This was because, as soon as they started playing, they could feel great changes in their body and mind. Age and caste differences slowly began to fade away. Furthermore, to bring about a discipline and to motivate the villagers, for the 9th consecutive year sports events were organised with the focus upon the Rural Rejuvenation Championship Cup.

Under the aegis of Isha Yoga Centre of Gobichettipalayam and Sanjeevi youth association of Anna Nagar, the rural sports festival was conducted on June 23rd and 24th. This year around 1600 participants from nearly 200 villages around Gobichettipalayam, Sathyamangalam, Perunthurai and Anthiyoor participated in the sports events.

Men who played volleyball were grouped into two sets of teams, namely Isha rural and Isha professional. Apart from events for the participants, events were also organised for the spectators. Many games like pass the ball, break the pot and tug of war were conducted with eager and active participation. There was also a treasure hunt organized for the children, followed by an hour-long competition of silambattam (stick fighting), which was cheerfully welcomed by the audience.

It was awe inspiring to watch men and women participate regardless of their age. It was interesting to note that a grandmother and her granddaughter played for the same team.

The volleyball final for the Isha professional group held on June 24th was won by the team from Saavukattupalayam village for the second year in a row. The second place was won by the team from Theenampalayam village.

The volleyball final for the Isha rural group was won by the team from Kurumanthoor village and the second place was bagged by the team from Sivanmalai. The throw ball final was won by the Muruganputhur women’s team for the 6th time in a row and the team from Kolapaloor village won the second place. The winning teams collected their trophies from the Guests-of-Honor.
It is evident how a mere ball can change the face of the rural society.