Sports and physical activities are an essential part of life. We all know the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Working all day without doing anything for fun or continuous studying without taking a break wears off our concentration and focus. This results in bad workplace performance and bad grades. On the other hand, sports and other physical activities keeps us healthy and fit; a healthy body keeps a healthy mind.
To habituate students of our country with sports from a young age, sports classes or physical trainings are mandatory to some extent in school and college levels. Some universities also facilitate indoor and outdoor sports at their campuses. But sports are most fun when they are competitive. That is why inter-school and inter-college sports competitions are often organised all over our country.
Recently, a sports event was organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Polar Ice-cream. For the first time in Bangladesh, students from both public and private universities took part in “Bangabandhu Inter-University Sports Champ 2019”.
More than 2600 students from 65 universities participated in this sports competition bearing the slogan “With the ideals of Bangabandhu, let’s build a drug-free Bangladesh.” This event was aimed to raise awareness against drugs and terrorism amongst the youth and encourage them to see the brighter side of life through sports and other physical activities. This championship had football, cricket, table tennis, basketball, badminton, swimming, handball, volleyball, cycling, and other athletic events which were held at different university campuses. Polar Ice-cream, as the main sponsor, organised a special “Penguin Shootout” video game competition at university campuses for the non-participant students so that everyone could enjoy equally.
Bangabandhu Inter-University Sports Champ 2019 was inaugurated on March 29, 2019 at Hatirjheel Amphitheatre. Home Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Asadduzzaman Khan inaugurated the event as the chief guest. State minister of Ministry of Youth and Sports Md Jahid Ahsan Russel MP, who served as the Chairman of the Advisory Council of Bangabandhu Inter-University Sports Champ 2019, was also present as the chairman of the ceremony along with high officials of Polar Ice-cream. This month-long sports event came to an end on April 27, 2019 through a spectacular closing and prize giving ceremony in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“We often play at our own university campuses, but representing my university on a national stage was really amazing. I got to know a lot of fellow students and athletes from different universities which was a wonderful experience,” said Best Male Athlete Award winner Ujjal Chandra Shutradhar from Jashore University of Science and Technology.
Athletes from different universities took part in different sports events and won medals on behalf of their institutions. In five categories of badminton, Daffodil International University won two gold medals and Jessore University of Science and Technology, North South University, and Islamic University won one gold medal each. Jahangirnagar University achieved gold medal in basketball and Gono University in women’s football. AIUB and Gono University won gold medals in men’s and women’s cricket finals respectively. In table tennis, Daffodil International University (men’s single), Jahangirnagar University (women’s single), Sonargaon University (men’s doubles), North South University (women’s doubles) and Jagannath University (mixed doubles) achieved gold medals and championship.
In the volleyball finals, Dhaka University beat Daffodil International University. Gono University won gold medal in the women’s handball finals; Dhaka University and Islamic University jointly won gold in the men’s handball finals. Winning the most sports events, Jashore University of Science and Technology became Champions of Bangabandhu Inter-University Sports Champ 2019.
Besides the Best Male Athlete Award winner Ujjal Chandra Shutradhar, Tamanna Akter from Islamic University won the award for Best Female Athlete at the tournament, winning five gold medals in different categories. They both received their awards from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Being a national-level athlete, Tamanna was asked if she found her opponents weak. She strongly disagreed and said that she never considers an opponent weak. In addition, she also described her experience of this event to be wonderful because she got to know and compete against athletes from all around Bangladesh. She also said that this event has taught her about her own abilities and weaknesses and she also got to learn a lot from her fellow athletes.
Marketing Manager of Polar Ice-cream, Abdullah Al Mamun shared that the organisers plan to make the arrangements of Bangabandhu Inter-University Sports Champ bigger and better every year. He said, “If nurtured properly, these young athletes from different universities might represent Bangladesh on international platforms. As Polar Ice-cream is a brand for the youth, we want to be with this spectacular sports event as long as possible.”