Vidya Valley, a school in tiny, unassuming Sus Gaon, has always had one striking claim to fame – we balance athletics along with academics, extracurriculars along with exams, and manage to leave our mark in every field.
Recently, the CISCE meets were held for a variety of sports. Vidya Valley, never one to stick to only conventional sports, participated in multiple competitions, including chess, athletics, taekwondo, and football. Below are several first-person accounts of athletes who participated, Being Valleyites, they came home triumphant with medals slung around their necks.
- A first-person account by Aashvi Joshi
After the Zonal competition, comes the Regionals, or the “States” as most of us call them. On 29th September, all the boys that had cleared the Zonals had gone to Euroschool in Mumbai and played exceptionally well. There were 8 players in total, out of which 7 won Gold, and 1 snatched Silver. The boys also won two trophies for Vidya Valley in the event overall, one for 1st place and one for the runner. They returned victoriously, the bar raised high for us girls.
The next day, it was our turn. All the girls bundled up into a bus at 5:30 in the morning, with our coaches, a parent volunteer, and Arvind sir accompanying us. We stopped for breakfast midway, and after 3 nerve-wracking long hours on the bus, we reached Airoli. The minute we entered the venue, we were called in for weighing, which is just to confirm the category you’ll be playing in.
The matches started almost immediately, and we had less than 20 minutes to warm up and change into our uniforms. Only the players who won Gold at Zonals were selected, and that meant there were a lot fewer people playing for states. We encouraged and cheered each player on the court. Each of us had to win only 1 match, and 6 out of 8 girls won gold, including myself. The matches were quite intense, as the level of competition had risen by a considerable amount from Zonals. After the matches, we proudly collected our medals, certificates, and a trophy too! Vidya Valley had won first place for the most wins in the competition overall for the girls as well, and it was a surreal moment on stage as the entire team went up to collect our hard-won trophy.
The bus ride back started at about 12:15 PM and it was lively and full of excited chatter about the events of the day, a complete contrast to the nervous, silent ride that morning. We exchanged snacks and played music, everyone in a good mood. We stopped for Mcdonald’s on the way back, a classic Taekwondo-States-bus-ride tradition. Almost all of us were knocked out after a huge and well-deserved meal full of grease and carbs and woke up when we reached Pune.
All the players who won Gold at Regionals will now be moving forward to play in the Nationals, which will be held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat from 11th October to 13th October. With Nalini ma’am, Vivek sir’s and the teachers’ and students’ constant support, Vidya Valley’s name will never be far from the top. I would like to give a big thank you to Arvind Sir as well, for always believing in his students and supporting them with every step they take, and giving us these wonderful opportunities.
- A first-person account by Ishika Mundada
I heard the gunshot but instead of making me nervous, it was what I was waiting for. My legs started shaking. My heart was beating abnormally. I looked around. All my opponents were next to me. They looked just as nervous as I was.
It was my first time participating in the CISCE Athletics Tournament which was held on the 27th and 28th of September. All my teammates were just excited as I was. We had our races in Bhosari. We had to meet at Reliance Fresh from where our bus kaka would take us to the stadium. When we reached it, we saw people warming up before their races. We were enjoying ourselves and listened to songs.
I had chosen to participate in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and Relay. I had a 400m race, to begin with. All my friends and my seniors were cheering for me, encouraging me enough to steady my nerves. I knew I had to win and make Vidya Valley proud. As soon as I heard the gunshot, I started running as fast as I could, my feet pounding down the track. I came first in the semi-finals! I was elated. After a while, I had my finals, a tough competition in which I came third. I was really disappointed at first, but my friends and sports teachers assured me that I ran very fast, which made me happy.
The last race was the relay race which was the most interesting. We had been practicing for 2-3 weeks and we were confident that we were the best in what we had learned. My team consisted of Arnika Ruikar, Toshani Singh, Abhipsha Roy, Laya Vikram, and myself. All the other relay teams were scared of us, convinced that we were the team to beat, boosting our confidence. However, we were reminded not to get too excited by something unfortunate happening before our race. It started raining so heavily that the inner tracks had big water-filled potholes. When it stopped raining, we had to choose the best lane so that we would not slip while running. When it was our time to run, we rushed to take the best lane and we got it! Before the race, our coach Rupesh Sir told us that if we came first, we would get the best lane in the finals as well. With this additional incentive fueling us, we came first in the semi-finals. We were so excited when it was time for the finals! We started stretching and got ready for the race, ready to prove to all the other teams that they were right to fear us, for we were the Vidya Valley team, the reigning relay champions.
As illustrated above by our young athletes, the flag of Vidya Valley has always flown high in all sporting events and will continue to do so for many years to come. Of the various events we participated in, our athletes returned with medals weighing down their necks, yet heads held high with pride, trophies aloft. We are known for being fierce, fearless, and competitive, excelling at everything we do. We are, after all, the society for excellence in education.