SOS Olympiad 2017: Connecting on the Playgound!

In today’s increasingly segmented society, our foremost aim must be to remove the lines that divide us. Fortunately, there is a space where all of this comes to life: the play ground.  A vast green field under a clear sky where everyone jumps with joy and leaves their pains in the dust for a blissful, fleeting moment. A place where it doesn’t matter where you are from, how you look, how you speak, and what you believe in; where all those awful, and disruptive lines are erased, and we begin as equals.

And that is exactly why, this December, NUST Community Services Club came back with an event solely for our loved ones at the SOS Village! The SOS Olympiad was designed specially for the children of SOS, inviting them to NUST, and letting them experience the thrill of the game on the battlefield of sports!

They were divided into teams, with names based on the precious young gems of Pakistan. ‘Aitzaz Titans’, in memory of Aitzaz Hasan Bangash Shaheed, who sacrificed his life preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school of 2,000. ‘Shahlyla Defenders’, to honour Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch, the first Pakistani woman to score a hat trick in a football match. ‘Maseeh Warriors’ to honour Iqbal Masih, who became a symbol against child labour. And, ‘Arfa Victors’, in memory of Arfa Karim, the youngest Microsoft Prodigy. These were meant to inculcate not only good skills, but also to inspire them to be fearless and persevere in the cause, just like the individuals they were honouring.

There were exciting matches of Football, where each team had a student of NUST assigned to it. This motivated the  children even further. What was heartening to see was that, they showed deep respect for their elders. Even if victory was not to be theirs, they still embraced it with a wonderful spirit. To them, the game was all that mattered!

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Matches of cricket, tug-of-war and ludo were also played with a competitive spirit, and served to promote camaraderie. Not only did the boys play very well, the girls excelled in all games too!

Image may contain: one or more people, people playing sports, child, tree, sky and outdoor

Magic wands and crystal balls may appear to be a fantasy of Hogwarts and Narnia, but how is a bat shaped from the finest willow, hitting spectacular sixes out of nowhere, and taking everyone’s breath away, any less entrancing? A fortune-teller may be deceptive but a searing football kick into the nets is as real as it gets! Why pull on each other’s hair, feelings and progress, when teams can have a go on a tightrope, and get much more fun out of it? That was the goal that NCSC had in mind, and we are extremely pleased to say that it was successfully acheived!

The SOS Olympiad ended with awards and mentions for everyone who excelled on the field (yes, the commentator included!). It was a learning experience for not only the students, but also all the members of NCSC. We would like to congratulate the entire core team on the successful execution of this splendid event. We hope to see it again, next year!

Haseeb Kazmi

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