by Ms. Sunita D'Souza
WADALA-MUMBAI, DECEMBER 6, 2013: St. Joseph's High School, Wadala witnesses an awesome display of colour, creativity and charm! The 'sound' of water echoes in the air as the students participating in the class floats from the K.G., Primary and Secondary sections assemble on the school basketball court. It's the annual Sports Festival and through the theme chosen the school aimed at giving thanks to God for the gift of water to us.
The Opening Ceremony began with the Guard of Honour welcoming the Chief Guest, Mr. Ramesh Dound (retired teacher of St. Joseph's, Wadala), who was accompanied by the Members of the Management, Rev. Fr. Godfrey D'Sa (Rector), Rev. Fr. Bernard Fernandes (Principal), Rev. Fr. Vivian D'Souza (counselor), Ms. Nicole Britto (Vice-Principal), Mrs. Sangita Bhattacharya (Secondary Supervisor) and Mrs. Matilda Fernandes (Primary Head teacher). A warm welcome was accorded to the honoured guests by the comperes who goaded everyone into effecting the 'rain clap' applause.
Once the distinguished dignitaries took their places on the dais, the morning prayer was recited and the National Anthem sung with due reverence. The School Flag was then hoisted by the Chief Guest. The four house squads - blue, green, red and yellow marched past the audience in unison and gave a smart salute to the Chief Guest. This was followed by the recital of the Sportsman's Oath by the School Head boy, Master Moksh Jain and the Sportsman's Prayer by the Assistant Head boy, Master Nihar Chothani.
The Sports Festival Flame was then ceremoniously lit and carried around the stadium by the champion state representatives of St. Joseph's, Wadala in various sports - basketball, football, handball and gymnastics – together with student representatives from the Pre-Primary and Primary sections.
The Chief Guest, Mr. Ramesh Dound then addressed the gathering. He expressed his happiness coming back to school to witness and be a part of the Sports Festival. Stating that 'Health Is Wealth' he reiterated that sport is a reminder that we need to take good care of our health.
The most attractive, impressive and significant part of the program was up next - the presentation of the class floats by the K.G., Primary and the Secondary sections. The little children from the Pre-Primary and the Primary kept all present spellbound through their unique and innovative styles of the display of their class floats. Every class float was briefly and eloquently introduced by the comperes. The students demonstrated the sources of water and focused on the need to save water, exhibited the water-cycle in action, basic sanitation, freshwater sources in North India and South India respectively. Each class float depicted ideas to convey the message that each one of us must do our bit to save water and use it carefully. The breathtaking secondary section class floats that followed the drill, yoga and karate displays continued with the theme of the day, ALL FOR WATER, WATER FOR ALL. Their presentation was through drama, dances and beautiful banners.
The finalists of a few select events then took the field for the competition. The races began with the tiny tots from the K.G. Section and Primary Section and continued with the finals in football, basketball and handball finals for the Secondary Section. The much awaited event between the staff and the students – this time, a game of basketball – lived up to its billing as an exciting top drawer match. The staff prevailed! As the events of the day progressed, the prize winners from every category were felicitated simultaneously with medals and certificates by the staff members.
Before long, it was time for the Closing Ceremony. It began with the Prize Distribution where the champions in the midgets, sub-juniors and seniors categories were awarded their championship prizes. The Green House outscored the other houses by an overwhelming margin to bag the prestigious trophy for the day - the winners for the Sports Festival! The creative display by the students (and teachers) of Std. IV won them the best class float award in the I-IV category, while the joy of the students of Std. X knew no bounds when their class reps and teachers marched to the stage to receive their prize in the VIII-X section. The Blue house won the prize for the March past Display that was smart and elegant.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Fr. Bernard (Principal). He thanked everyone for contributing to the grand success of the school Sports Festival. A respectful silence descended upon the grounds as the torch bearers carried the Sports Festival Flame for one last time across the field and then had it extinguished to mark the solemn end of the sports extravaganza. The School Flag was then lowered and handed over to the Principal by the school head boy, Master Moksh Jain.
This brought to an end the Sports Festival that witnessed solemn occasions, exhilarating and emotional moments, hollering supporters, and impressionable class floats. The Sports Festival 2013 will live on in the minds and hearts of everyone present with the message 'All For Water For All' reverberating and causing a ripple effect in every home!