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New Boxing Arena and Basketball Courts Inaugurated at MIT

In a big step forward for the sporting community in Manipal, the boxing ring and new basketball courts were inaugurated on the 7th of February 2019. This signals at the ushering in of new prospects for these sports and lays the foundation for future accolades that may be earned by students.

Dubbed ‘BAMIT’, the Boxing Arena of Manipal Institute of Technology was inducted into the university’s plethora of sporting arenas. BAMIT is situated on the first floor of the familiar Annapoorna Mess. The ribbon was cut by Pro-Chancellor, Dr HS Ballal in the presence of other dignitaries. After a few welcoming words for the spectators, the event proceeded to the speeches delivered by the various dignitaries. Dr Vinod Nayak, Secretary of the Sports Council, gave the opening address, citing Dr Ballal’s vision and the achievement of students for this successful foundation. The Director of MIT, Dr D Srikanth Rao, was present along with other guests like Col. Prakash Chandra, Deputy Director General Services and Col. CMS Kalakoti, Chief Warden of MIT Hostels, who himself was a boxer as a young man in the military.

Anuj Mishra and Sourabh Putran going head-to-head at the new boxing ring.

A local legend in the field of boxing, Mr Shivaprasad Acharya was in attendance at the event. A man with a stellar resume, Mr Acharya has been a coach for the boxing team of Udupi as well as Karnataka and is a celebrated Karate practitioner as well, winning tournaments since 1995. An alumnus of the Dr T.M.A Pai Polytechnic, he gave a brief explanation of the different aspects of boxing. Following his speech, the spectators were treated to a few demonstrative bouts. Anuj Mishra, a final year MIT student and Sourabh Putran from WGSHA, went head-to-head for a few enthralling minutes. A women’s bout was also conducted with students from MCODS and SOAHS participating.  Following this, Coach Acharya was felicitated for his multifarious contributions to sports and boxing in Karnataka and was presented a memento by Dr Ballal and Dr Rao.

The Director addressing the assembled crowd.

Proceeding with the event, the Pro-Chancellor was requested to grace the audience with a few words. Expressing how proud he was to be part of the inauguration, Dr Ballal recounted how Dr Nayak had approached him a couple of years ago with the idea. He expressed pleasure at finally seeing the idea realised. “It is very difficult to win at higher levels without continuous training,” said Dr Ballal, explaining the purpose behind the building of the boxing arena. It also intends to provide budding boxers with a platform to hone their skills. Reminding us to remember a national hero, Mary Kom, the Pro-Chancellor bid adieu.

The Director took the event forward with a few words of his own and informed everyone that the Pro-Chancellor was a sportsperson as well and had played state level tennis among other sports. The Director further made a declaration that many “Muhammad and Layla Alis will be discovered“. He also expressed the intention to inaugurate various such arenas in the future. He concluded his remarks by thanking Dr Vinod Nayak and the sports department for organising the event well. The proceedings were brought to an end with a vote of thanks to everyone involved.

Moving forward with the spree of inaugurations, the contingent arrived at the newly constructed basketball court. The dignitaries called five players from the present boys’ and girls’ basketball team each and proceeded to inaugurate the establishment together.

The team practising at the new court.

Giving another speech in his day full of oratory, the Pro-Chancellor coaxed everyone present to be more physically active in their daily lives. He highlighted the university’s role in building these arenas and sporting institutions and requested that the faculty make the most out of them as well. He went on with the Director to take a couple of basketball shots to test out the new court.

The event drew to a conclusion with Dr Ballal and Dr Rao shaking everyone’s hands and saying a couple of positive words to the team, boosting their morale and solidifying their resolve.