Former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin with students at the BITS Pilani Sports Festival
Former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin with students at the BITS Pilani Sports Festival Image Credit: Supplied

The five-day BITS Pilani Sports Festival (BSF) came to an end on Thursday with sportsmanship very much in evidence. The sporting event — one of the biggest Inter-University sports festivals in the region, organised by BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC) — saw a turnout of more than 2,000 students across 23 universities from all over the UAE.

The 18th edition of BSF witnessed strong competition and best talents as students vied for top honours in 11 sports categories such as football, cricket, throwball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and athletics along with indoor games such as chess, badminton and table tennis. 10 matches were played in each category that turned the campus in battle field with BPDC winning whopping 5 first positions and 12 runner-up positions leading to Overall Champions Trophy. Second place was grabbed by Middlesex University with 18 points, followed by Manipal University and Amity University.

The closing ceremony was graced by former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin. Congratulating BPDC and the students, he said: “It is my pleasure to attend this festival as I see so many students competing for the trophy and putting their best foot forward every moment. During our times we didn’t have such a huge platform to display our talent, hence I want each and every one of you to feel proud and grateful no matter whether you won or lost.”

Prof. Srinivasan Madapusi, Director BPDC, said: “This event was a great opportunity for all of us. The sheer magnitude in bringing together Universities from across the Emirates is a commendable experience in itself. All students were fantastic and stepped up on the day, creating an enjoyable, safe and inclusive environment for all who attended. Our teams have put up sterling performances, demonstrating once again that BPDC is a force to be reckoned with in the sporting arena”.

There were plenty of fans to cheer on respective university teams. The final day saw some nail biting matches as American University of Ras Al Khaimah won 1-0 in the football against University of Dubai. The highlight of the day was the volleyball as the crowd roared on the BPDC girls and boys teams.

BPDC boys’ badminton team overcame Manipal University, and the Middlesex University girls defeated BPDC. Other events included basketball and cricket.