NZ Indian Community and Sports heroes honoured   30 May 2012

The Indian Community and Sports Awards evening on Saturday 26 May 2012 held at Sudima Hotel in Auckland was a memorable experience for the vibrant Indian community. It was an evening where the grassroot glitterati from the community and sports were honoured.

What everyone witnessed was a humble parade of the unsung heroes and sports achievers who made the Indian community very proud. The Indian Community and Sports Awards (ICSA) is unique in a way that it was exclusively for the people of Indian origin who are born in New Zealand and those migrated from mainland India, Fiji, East Asia, Middle East etc.

Given the long history of Indians settled in New Zealand, the Indian Community and Sports Awards is the first ever awards to honour the real grassroot workers in the community and sports achievers. These awards were designed to foster and hearten Indian people at a grassroots level in the pursuit of excellence in their chosen fields and to honor the outstanding achievements attained by Indians. ICSA awards support young as well as seasoned athletes to inspire and achieve their goals and pride their success.

Joris De Bres, New Zealand's Race Relations Commissioner was the Chief Guest for the awards evening and presented the trophies to all the winners. Among those who attended the awards night were Ross Robertson Labour MP, Matthew Gray (Head of Content of Suburban Newspapers), Gary Troup (Ex- Black Caps), Matthew Bayliss (Project Manager - Counties Manukau Sports), Jenny Clark (Papatoetoe Historical Society), Nimmi Bedi (Community Advisor - Auckland City Council) and Vimbai Mugadza (Settlement Support Coordinator - Auckland Regional Migrant Service) as Guests of Honor, prominent sports personalities and community leaders, sponsors and all nominees.

The winners and runners-up are as follows:
Black Caps leg spinner Tarun Nethula won the Supreme Sports Award and the Waitakere Indian Association won the Supreme Community award.

Winners in 4 sports categories and 4 community categories were also honoured with trophies at the presentation ceremony.

Aditee Naik the coordinator of the ICSA quoted that she was highly impressed with the quality of the nomination received in various categories. She also indicated that it was quiet over-whelming to see the quality of young minds at work and extremely impressed with the dedication and devotion of people within the community. It is really fascinating to see the contributions of Indians in community development and sports.

The nominees were evaluated by an expert panel of judges, independent of SPROUT, its management and volunteers adding credibility to the judging process. Everyone present at the awards night was full of praise for the integrity and authenticity of the awards.

The judges were so impressed with some of the nominations that they request the organizers to acknowledge all the Queens Medal recipients with a Lifetime Achievement award.

Sunita Kashyap, Community Advisor, Auckland City Council and Amanda Saldana, BollyworX Instructor SPROUT were the MC for the night. Ram Lingam said this is a milestone for Indian Community and these awards recognise the long standing integration of the Indian community in New Zealand. Munish Bhatt, trustee for SPROUT also indicated that he was quite impressed with the young generation sports heroes blossoming in their respective fields.


Indian Community and Sports Awards winners 2012

Supreme Sports Award 2012: Tarun Nethula
Supreme Community Award 2012: Waitakere Indian Association.

Community Volunteer of the year 2012
Winner: Wells Albert
Runner ups: Ashika Jyoti Prasad and Minoo Ghadiali

International Student of the year 2012
Winner: Jasbinder Singh
Runner Up: Yaseer Shafiq

Community Organisation of the year 2012
Winner: Waitakere Indian Association
Runner up: Bharitya Samaj Charitable Trust

Senior Citizen of the year 2012
Winner: Jagjeet Singh Kathuria
Runner up: Thilliar Varnakulasingham

Sportsman of the year 2012
Winner: Tarun Nethula
Runner up: Jeet Raval and Bhupinder Singh

Sportswoman of the year 2012
Winner: Shareena Nana
Runner up: Pearl Hans

Junior Sportsman of the year 2012
Winner: Ayush Bhatnagar and Ish Sodhi
Runner up: Vedant Zaveri

Junior Sportswoman of the year 2012
Winner: Rishija Dolli
Runner up: Denise Mendonce

Long Service Award 2012
Jeet Sachdev
Pratima Devi Nand
Ranjna Patel
Kantilal Patel
Kandavanam Thuraisundaram
Dr. Nagalingam Rasalingam

ICSA has not only proven itself as a milestone in recognizing young minds, but also showing its respect towards exemplary people of the Indian community who have delivered their time and effort in contributing to community development in the society.

(SPROUT)

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