Annual Sports & Cultural Meet
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Perseverance and tenacity are often the foundational traits of success. When combined with dedication and teamwork, the result is outstanding. Over two thousand students—age five to twenty-five—of Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions wear these very traits on their sleeve every January. Together, they put on a spectacular display of courage, hard work, skill and brilliance during the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet, a stand-out event of their annual academic calendars.
The event is a major part of the values-based integral education system practiced at these institutions for over thirty-five years. The prime motivation for this offering is to please the Revered Founder Chancellor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Preparations for the event began a month in advance. The creative ideas, setups, props, practice and final performances were a combined effort of the teachers and students of the institutions with limited budgets and very little assistance from the outside.
In fact, during a public discourse on 14 January 2003, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said, “Here, people have to understand the difference in the sports activities of our students and the students elsewhere. The students outside have only one goal in their mind, i.e. to win a prize or a medal, whereas our students’ only aim is to please Swami.”
The Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions held their Annual Sports and Cultural Meet from 11 to 15 January 2016 at Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh. The event is a culmination of a month-long, intensive preparation of athletic displays, acrobatics, cultural dance routines, dramas and the like, by over 2000 students of the Sri Sathya Sai Primary and Higher Secondary Schools, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, and its allied institutions.
The format of the event was similar to previous years. The sports event was held on 11 January at the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium in Prasanthi Nilayam and the cultural events were held on the evenings of 12, 13, 14 and 15 January at Sai Kulwant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam. The Prize distribution ceremony—where students of all Sai educational institutions are recognized for their excellence in individual and team events for sports, cultural and fine arts—was held on the morning of 15 January.

11 January

Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium in Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh hosted the event under the warm winter sun leading to a fire torch display under the night sky.
Ceremonial Procession, The March Past and Allied Ceremonies
Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium in Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh hosted the event under the warm winter sun leading to a fire torch display under the night sky.
Bhagawan’s car with a beautiful photograph of Him was escorted by motorcycle escorts, and welcomed by the women’s brass band of the Anantapur Campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL). This was followed by an escort by the Slow March Squad, a special contingent that was led by the men’s brass band of the Prasanthi Nilayam Campus of the university. When Bhagawan arrived in a grand procession at the Shanti Vedika—the stage where senior members of the Sai institutions and Trusts along with invited guests sit in the Divine presence—the house captains of the university saluted Him through a canopy of flags before a group of students chanting the vedas offered a ceremonial welcome to Swami, and the Vice-Chancellor, SSSIHL along with senior members of the Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions, offered salutations to Bhagawan.
This was followed by presentations by each education institution over two sessions, morning and evening. Each institution performed for an average of twenty minutes. Presentations included gymnastic drills, Chinese martial arts, synchronized performances, stunts on trampolines, fire and bikes, and several more.

SSSIHL – Muddenahalli Campus
Bike Stunts. In contemporary times, even though machines have dominated man, the riders here seem to have reversed the equation. The students marvelously maneuvered TVS Apache 160s to do their bidding. On and off ground the riders unleashed their power while the dedicated formations team added colour and shape.
SSSIHL – Prasanthi Nilayam, Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music and SSS Higher Secondary School (Boys)
Thunder Birds. A beautiful blend of gymnastics, yoga postures and acrobatics.
Dragons and Drums. Students maneuver the moments of Chinese dragons to the beat of skillful drums.
Rugged & Tough. Gymnastic dives and rolls with a combination of coordinated fitness routines using logs.
Boomers. A finesse based display of various patterns with the boomerang.
Roller blades. Formations by students on inline roller blades.
Ladder Maniacs. Students daringly climb ladders with out any support and play different games.
League of Legends. A mass display of synchronized strokes, bowling, and fielding depicted through a tournament setting of the world’s cricketing nations.
Hip-tronic. A contemporary dance with a live ensemble of the brass band and vocals.
Wizards of Wonder. Students in groups dance together, make formations and display beautiful designs.

Smt. Eswaramma English Medium School
Rhythmic movements of ‘cowboys’ with their typical hats and inimitable style
Gymnasts with a perfect blend of agility, flexibility and strength
A group of little damsels, displaying graceful movements with colour balls
A group boys creating optical illusion with synchronised stepping with a small group of stretchy dance bags stepping in to create amusement.
SSS Primary School and SSS Higher Secondary School (Girls)
Invocation Prayer Tae Kwon Do
Mirror Rhythm by tiny tots
Christmas Rhapsody by tiny tots
Row Your Boat
Grand Finale

SSSIHL – Anantapur Campus
Triumvirates. ‘Triumvirates’ consisted of drill and formations with the help of human-sized cuboids. The drill involves simple raising of the cuboid, resulting in intricate pixel-like geometric patterns. The item encapsulated the idea that the individual is a complex entity of the body, mind and soul.
Vibrant Marchers. A colourful display of aerobics, the drill endeavoured to showcase the possibilities of bringing out aesthetics through brisk hand movements and aerobic footwork.
Whiz Wheelers. The item involved acrobatics on cycles. Other than the various formations by synchronously moving bicycles, there are also various displays on circus and structure cycles. The highlight of the item is the performance on unicycles of varied heights. There were also indigenously designed double-decker cycles with four wheels that operated on back pedalling.

College of Nursing, SSSIHMS, Whitefield
Chinese Martial Arts. The performance focuses on the ancient martial art using different weapons like Quandao, weird pole of Tamo, moon weapon, Sancheykoon, Hongischoo weapon, Tantao and the sword. They highlighted strength, sense of balance, discipline and devotion.
Yakshagana. An art form mainly found in the coastal districts and the Malenadu region of Karnataka, originated in the 16th century. It is a folk theatre form that combined dance, music, dialogue, costume with a unique style and form.
SSSIHL – Brindavan Campus
The presentation was on the principle of the strength of the body, the spirit of the mind and splendour of the indweller, as they represent the ability in man to teach that which cannot be otherwise reached — the Divine. Bend the body, mend the senses and end the mind!
Kalaripayatt. The presentation highlighted the intense focus of the mind with which the connection with the spirit within emanates.
The Lords of Gravity. Demonstrating dexterity, agility and ability, students performed trampoline basket stunts, as they call themselves The Lords of Gravity. The strength in the body is extremely essential to conquer the vagaries of the mind, as the presentation highlighted.
The Blazing Warriors. A spectacle of fire torches lighting up the night sky represented the dispelling of darkness from society and in the awe of splendour. The Blazing Warriors fire torch display was the ultimate offering of the evening and concluded proceedings for the day.
Following this, the rest of the programmes were held in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh


12 January

SSS Higher Secondary School (Boys)
Drama Presentation. Titled Our Life, His Message, the drama followed the career of an SSSIHL alumnus working in the pharmaceutical industry who is faced with ethical and moral crossroads when launching a new product. The story revolved around his sense of Dharma and the tremendous clarity, courage and steadfastness he displays in following his Master’s message right through the challenges.


13 January

SSSIHL – Brindavan Campus
Drama Presentation. The drama depicted the depth of devotion of Bhakta Ramadasa, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama even when sentenced to prison Tanesha of Golkonda for collecting funds to restore dilapidated idols of the Lord, and the extent to which the Lord Himself (in this case in the form of Rama) comes to the rescue of Ramadasa after he spent twelve years in prison. Lord Rama and Lakshmana cleared the debts by appearing as Ramadasa’s servants. The drama ends with the Sita-Rama Kalayana Mahotsavam at Bhadrachalam after Tanesha realizes that the Lord Himself had come to the rescue of His devotee.


14 January

SSSIHL – Anantapur Campus
Musical Presentation. ‘Know Then Thyself’ traced the journey of the individual from Koham (Who am I?) to Soham (‘i’ am ‘I’). The journey on the different stages of “i” (representing man) to ‘I,’ (Supreme Being) through vocal and instrumental music, and a human backdrop consisting of thirty masked students representing creation. The technique of the game of scrabble was employed to aid depiction.
SSSIHL – Muddenahalli Campus
Drama Presentation. The drama entitled, ‘Tere Pyar Ke Liye’ painted the foundation of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet, which is the bond of Love between Swami and His students. It highlighted the story of a student and his journey of transformation brought about by the understanding of what it is to live for the love of God!


15 January

Morning: Prize Distribution Ceremony
The Prize Distribution Ceremony of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet for the Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions held on the auspicious day of Makarasankranti, marked the end of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet for the academic year 2015/16.
The programme commenced with a grand procession comprising the university brass band, veda chanting group of students and a flag-bearing squad. Following brief opening remarks by Prof. S Siva Sankara Sai, Dean, Faculty of Sciences, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL), a series of brief talks by five students of different institutions highlighted the significance of the event for the students and teachers involved. They narrated by various examples and incidences, how the event highlights the bond of love between students and the Founder Chancellor of these institutions, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Following the talks, the Founder Chancellor’s Cups—symbolizing the grand effort put in by each institution—were awarded by members of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, the Registrar, SSSIHL and Controller of Examinations, SSSIHL. The respective captains and vice-captains of each Sai institution received them. Prof. K B R Varma, Vice-Chancellor, SSSIHL then awarded the trophies to the individual champions of each campus and institution under various categories.
The ceremony came to an end at with the Divine benediction of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Baba urged students to chant the name of the Lord, pray for the welfare of the world and take up projects that are beneficial to society. Know all that you are supposed to do and use your time wisely at this age when you are young, He said.

Evening: Drama Presentation – SSSHL Prasanthi Nilayam Campus
The drama unfolded with a conversation between Valmiki and Hanuman who discuss the deeper insights that Hanuman has had during The Ramayana and how he observed the righteous actives of Rama and inspired entire classes of people, like the Vanaras, the animal kingdom and how it brought about a transformation in the entire society. It highlights how Hanuman’s behaviour is relevant today and how man’s harmony with nature and the animal kingdom is blazingly lacking.

We, the children of Sai, swear that, we shall take part in the Annual Sports & Games of Sri Sathya Sai Institutions, in fair competition; respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them and with a desire to participate in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the honour of our country, the glory of sport and our beloved Mother Sai.
Sports Meet Oath, Sri Sathya Sai Educational Institutions
© Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Vidyagiri, Prasanthi Nilayam - 515 134, India.