Yoga & Sewa day is a very popular event in Basingstoke. All the communities in Basingstoke eagerly look forward to this event. The event has yoga activity and a charity cricket tournament in which teams from different parts of South West England complete against each other. Each year the event has got bigger and better.

The preparation for this event started with forming groups on whatsapp for easy communication. A detailed plan was laid out in the karyakarta baitak and task was assigned to all karyakartas. This time the support was further strengthened by our Sevika Samiti who were very keen to help the event to be a big success. They took the responsibility for food preparation for the event and managing the activities on the day of the event. A team of 15 karyakartas and swayamsevaks dedicated their time and efforts for this event.

Yoga & Sewa day event is a popular event in Basingstoke and has been conducted successfully for many years. Different communities were encouraged to participate in the yoga session and also to enrol their team in the competition. The aim was to bring people from different cultural groups together for this event so that the tournament is very interesting. Nine teams decided to participate in this tournament. All the teams were encouraged to provide opportunities to children and women into their team. Balagokulam managed to enrol 3 teams namely Balagokulam A, B & C team. Regular patron like the Lower Earley Eagles and CKS A & B team had participated too. This time we had new members join us from Newbury and they had enrolled 2 teams (Newbury Indian A & B). We had continued support from the cricket club who were kind enough to provide us with the pitch and other facilities that were required for the tournament.

A total of 100+ players participated in the tournament with their families pushing the total number of guests to 200+. Sevika Samiti members had many discussions on the food preparation, activities for the event and the tasks were listed out and assigned to all the Sevikas. Banners, posters, printed T-shirts were ordered for the event.

 

Finally, the day had arrived. Sevika Samiti members headed to the Carnival Hall at 5:30 in the morning to prepare the food, snacks and other refreshments for the event. Food preparation was completed at 8:30 in the morning. A separate team of KaryaKartas were organising the tents and stalls for the event at the venue. All the members and guest arrived on time for Yoga. The enthusiasm to be part of the world yoga day was very high and the yoga mats were out. More than 30+ participants had joined for the yoga session. The yoga event was led by West London Vibhag Shareerik Pramukh from Slough Shakha. The session started off with stretching exercise and slowly shifted gear with some good asanas. Children enjoyed different poses and asanas. Their supple and flexible body was put to a good test by veerabadrasan. Finally, the Surya Namaskar with Shlokas and Mantra was performed to complete yoga session.

 

Slowly the cricket teams started to trickle in for the charity cricket event. It was exciting to see all the participants in cricket gears. The teams were rearing to go and started to practice on the pitches. Three pitches were setup for the tournaments to run 3 matches in parallel and the pitches were named after popular battle fields from Indian history like Kurukshetra, Haldighat & Saraighat. Ambitious plan to conduct a league with 14 matches with 9 teams was made. Each team had 3 matches at league stage. The top 4 teams would move on to semi-finals. All the participating team had only one goal that was to beat the defending champions the Lower Earley Eagles. After a little bit of hustle, the tournament started with 3 matched in flight at the same time.

Sevika samiti members had cooked sumptuous for the day. The foods were neatly arranged, bouncy castle was setup, stalls like face painting & mendhi were setup. The guests started to arrive in large numbers and all the volunteers were busy attending the guests. Kids were excited with the games stalls and the bouncy castle. Some of the stalls were managed by bal and balikas. The guest were charged for the activities and food and all the proceeds would go to charity. The event was in full swing and all the volunteers were busy. The plan and preparation was impeccable and the result was evident in the seamless conduct of the event. People enjoyed the tasty meals prepared by our sevika samiti. Kids enjoyed the games that were conducted and tiny tots were extremely busy on the bouncy castle.

Each person participating in the cricket match contributed £10 as registration money. The entire proceeds would be donated to Sewa UK. The teams fought hard against each other in the league stage and 4 teams progressed to the semi-finals. Surprisingly, both the teams from Newbury had reached the semi-finals.  Balagokulam A team played well to reach the semi-finals. Lower Earley Eagles had moved to semi-finals winning all their league games. The other 3 teams in semi-final had only one goal and that was to defeat the Lower Earley eagles. Newbury Indians after hard fight were knocked out of the tournament by LEE & BG-A.  The final encounter was as exciting as an India Vs Pakistan finals. Balagokulam A team had fought extremely hard but lost to LEE. The tournament was won yet another time by Lower Earley eagles. Prizes & memento were distributed.

The event was a grand success with more than 200+ people attending. The participants thoroughly enjoyed the day and had a wonderful time. People left the venue with a very happy face but with lots of reluctance. All of them thanked the organising team for putting together a wonderful and well planned event.

We would like to say a big thank you to all the karyakartas, swayamsevaks and sevikas who organised this event, as without their help and hard work, Yoga day wouldn’t have been a wonderful and successful event. We anticipate the collection to touch £2500 and the contribution net expenses are earmarked for Sewa UK charity.

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