On February 11th-12th 2016, the classrooms and labs of Amrita School of Biotechnology (ASBT) were deserted– an unusual sighting on most working days. The students, staff, and faculty members were not to be seen in the biotechnology building, but were instead found at the Amritapuri campus sports ground for the annual ASBT Athletic Meet.
Sports day is a chance for ASBT students to enjoy and excel on the sports field. Highlights of the two day program included the patriotic march-past, the girl’s throw ball and cricket matches, the boys’ volleyball match, the faculty running race, and the highly anticipated student versus faculty cricket and football matches. Nearly 40 events were organized, spanning two days.
The annual Atheltic Meet at Amrita School of Biotechnology was celebrated with fun, fervour and true sportsmanship. Though the previous day's rain played 'spoil sport', drenching the tracks and delaying the start of the event, the organising committee was in no mood to cave in and rose to the occasion by scrambling the itinerary. Opening ceremony was changed to the second day and the throwing events gained precedence, so the tracks could be allowed to dry. Volley ball and super over cricket was also organised in the first day. Above all, the spirits of the students and the staff came together, making up for lost time and making a memorable day. The highlight of the first eventful day was a football match between the faculty and students of the school. A good measure of soccer skills was on display from both sides, but eventually the faculty team claimed the cup with a 3-0 win.
The next day opened with the march past by the students which was inspected by Dr. Walter Shrenck, Associate Professor, ASBT. An inspirational Inaugural speech was delivered by Dr. Bipin Nair, Dean (Biotechnology). He also performed the duty of handing over the torch to the first of the relay runners. The flame was lit by Jeswin Joseph of M. Sc. 1st year, after receiving the torch from relay runner from different batches. The flag was hoisted by Dr. Asoke Banerji, Distinguished Professor, ASBT, who also declared the meet open with loud cheers and applause from athletes. Track events were conducted during the day.
Medals and certificates were distributed by the faculty members on the victory stand in an atmosphere of acknowledgment, appreciation and pride. Despite the ideology that age might be a disadvantage, especially with regards to sports, the cricket match between the faculty members and students punctuated the second with the faculty team registering a thumping victory that broke the jinx of the past. The overall championship was clinched by second year undergraduate students batch. Top female athlete was Mahalakshmi. N.V. of S6 B.Sc. Microbiology and the top male athletes were Sujesh of S6 B.Sc. Biotechnology and Abhishek of S4 B.Sc. Biotechnology. The mood was sombre when the flag was lowered and handed over to Dr. Bipin Nair, marking the end of two days of activities.
More than a competition pitting each batch against each other, the annual ASBT Athletic Meet is an opportunity for students and teachers to come together under the aegis of sports. This feeling of unity was especially prevalent on the last day of the athletic meet, as all the students,tired and exhausted, yet still enthusiastic, stood together to conclude the event with the singing of the national anthem. When the national anthem was sung in the engulfing darkness of the evening, pride of achievement, satisfaction of leadership, thrill of camaraderie, essence of happiness, and solace of sincere efforts hung heavily in the air, reminding everyone one more time that we are all one under the aegis of sports.