They say that sports are a prerogative of childhood, a thing that belongs to the phase of life right before the start of the rat race for success in academics, and once the starting line of this never-ending marathon is reached, there is no turning back or deviating from the track lying before you.
Invariably, sports and physical activity is one of the most compromised necessities for leading a healthy and successful life. Fortunately, BITS Goa makes itself an exception to behold, by being the harbour to some of the best sporting facilities available in the country. Besides providing a cradle for all the field gusto, it is also the venue of the biggest annual sports festival in India – Spree.
This one-of-a-kind intercollegiate sports and entertainment festival has been known for being an uproarious success ever since its inception 12 years ago; with each year raising the bar higher.
Every year the number of participants is on the rise, thus providing a stiff competitive quality to each of the sporting events like football, basketball, cricket, volleyball, badminton, tennis, squash, table tennis, carrom, chess, kabaddi, and powerlifting.
Colleges from major cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Indore and so on send their best athletes to compete for the laurels and the heavy monetary incentives at Spree.
The fervour for the desire to be named Spree champions for a sport resounds intensely on the competition grounds; leaving all the onlookers mesmerised by the display of athletic proficiency.
Spree, in keeping with its resolve to stand apart from other sports gatherings, has synced with the evolving nature of sports by including offbeat events like Ultimate Frisbee, Kho Kho, Kabaddi, Tug of War, Pool, Gully Cricket and Futsal.
The festival provides a competitive arena for women’s sports. Every sport has a contest, separate incentives and secure accommodation facilities for women students.
Last year’s edition of Spree recorded a massive footfall of 40,000 people. Apart from the regular events, there were workshops. The impeccably maintained sporting grounds, the state of the art sports accessories and the efficient and competent referees and arbiters from reputed sports academies indeed garnered the approval and satisfaction of all its participants. “Glory Awaits” is the theme of this year’s edition of Spree. The campus is expecting more than 2500 participants from 500 different colleges across the country.
Besides being a coveted competitive base for athletes all over the country, the festival also has a wide range of social initiatives like Udaan, the Spree Marathon, and the ‘Act to Inspire’ campaign.
Udaan, a Paralympics event, organised by Spree in collaboration with NGO Nirmaan, for persons with disabilities. Sports like badminton, basketball, judo, shot put, throwball, dodgeball, gully cricket and athletic events like the 50 meter, 100 meter and the relay race were conducted during Udaan, 2017. Additionally, a workshop on career counselling and sign language was conducted in association with “Enable India”, with the hope of empowering the less fortunate.
The Spree Marathon is conducted in Panjim and is a 10km run in support of the “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign, in association with Diego and has participants from all over Goa. The marathon for Spree, 2018, took place on March 18. The ‘Act to Inspire’ campaign, initiated in the year 2013, has had Spree working with CRY for organising blood donation camps and clean-up drives.
We’ve also had sportsmen like international cricketer Kapil Dev, Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthhapa; the international badminton legend Prakash Padukone, Indian Chess Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikaran Australian footballer Matthew Foschini and others enthralled us with their words. Spree 2018 awaits with bated breathe for the words of Simon Tauffel – the consistently top-ranked umpire by the ICC.
In the course of three days of this festival, several interesting workshops related to sports are conducted that provide a crash course in skills like football dribbling, skateboarding, etc. A large number of enthusiastic students enrolled in the older versions of the festival. Spree 2018 set a unique precedent for its forthcoming versions by hosting a comprehensive, one of its kind, Football Workshop under the tutelage of the popular Arsenal Soccer School. It was conducted between February 14 and 20, 2018, and offered two levels of training – the basic and the advanced. It received a hearty response from football lovers across Goa, as also from the on-campus students.
The older versions of Spree saw heartthrobs of the entertainment industry like the playback singer Benny Dayal, popular rock band “The Local Train”, the folk music band “Raghu Dixit Project”, the Indian rock band “Agnee”, the charming classical dancer and actress Aditi Rao Hydari and the mesmerising singer Shalmali Kholgade. Spree 2018 ensures an enthralling night with the lively EDM beats by Nucleya.
Spree undoubtedly continues to provide a unique and memorable experience for all the participants as well as the attendess. Look out for the adrenaline pumped three days of Spree 2018 from March 23 to March 26!