In a world marked by differences in status, background and wealth, the love for sport and the drive for excellence in it are some of the most widely shared values present among us. Invariably, sports and physical activity is one of the most compromised necessity for a healthy and successful life. However, BITS Goa makes itself an exception to behold, by being the harbour to some of the best sporting facilities that can be provided in the country. Besides providing a cradle for all the on-field gusto, it is also the venue of the oldest and biggest sports festival of India – Spree, to be held from 27th to 29th March, 2020. This one-of-a-kind intercollegiate sports and entertainment festival has been maintaining itself as a roaring success, ever since its inception 15 years ago; with each year raising the bar of quality higher.
Every year the number of participants is on the rise, thus providing a stiffly competitive nature to each of the sporting events like football, basketball, cricket, volleyball, badminton, tennis, squash, table tennis, carrom, chess, powerlifting and kabaddi. Colleges from across the country in major cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Indore and so on send their most athletic students to compete for the laurels and the heavy monetary incentives of Spree. The fervor for the desire to be named Spree champions for a sport resounds intensely on the competition grounds; leaving all the onlookers mesmerized by the show of athletic proficiency. Spree 2020 promises glory to both the champions as also to the festival and college itself, and includes a total prize pool pf 4.2 lakhs. The expected participant number is estimated to cross 2500 this year.
Themed “Rising from Ashes”, Spree is a strictly inter-collegiate fest, and not open to all. In keeping with its pledge to stand apart from all other sport gatherings, Spree has kept synchronism with the evolving nature of sports by including off beat events like Ultimate Frisbee, Kho Kho, Kabaddi, Tug of War, Pool, Gully Cricket and Futsal. This edition also includes snooker for the first time. Besides being a coveted competitive base for athletes all over the country, the festival also has a wide range of social initiatives under its letterhead, like Udaan, the Spree Marathon and the ‘Act to Inspire’ campaign. Udaan, organized by Spree in collusion with NGO Nirmaan, is for the benefit of the specially abled children. Various sporting events, workshops and talks by celebrities convert the 3 days of Spree as a source of happiness for the less fortunate.
The Spree Marathon is conducted in Panjim and is a 10km run in support of the ‘don’t drink and drive’ campaign, in association with Diageo and has participants from all over Goa. Spree also provides a stage for sportspeople to deliver motivational speeches and share their journey in sport. Sportsmen like cricketer Kapil Dev, Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra and others enthralled all with their words. In the course of the 3 days of this festival, several interesting workshops related to sports are conducted, providing a crash course in a small aspect of a sport. Football dribbling, skateboarding, etc saw an enrolment of a large number of enthusiastic participants. For high quality sporting events, inspirational guest speakers and an aura of enthusiasm and celebration, BITS Goa’s sports fest is a must-visit.