The Hindu’s latest Newspaper in Education initiative, Arena, had a grand start. The inter-school mega sports quiz had sports enthusiasts sitting at the edge of their seats.
Do you read the sports page of the newspaper the first thing in the morning? Are sporting legends not just your idols but gods? Do you care more about your favourite football club’s standing in the league or about the status of the injured cricketer in the team than your outcome in the exam? Then you would have loved Arena!
The Hindu NIE Arena 2011, an inter-school mega sports quiz presented by Indian Overseas Bank, was held recently in the city of Chennai. Over 410 teams from 105 schools sat through the prelims where the teams had to write down answers to questions distributed to them. While that was being evaluated, the crowd comprising sports enthusiasts, students and teachers were kept entertained by the team from Radio One.
By the end of it six teams comprising two students each from PS Senior Secondary School, DAV Public School (Velachery), Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Hindu Senior Secondary School, Bala Vidya Mandir and Zion Matriculation were selected.
In keeping with the theme of the quiz, the quizmaster was Dr. Sumanth C. Raman, an avid sports quizzer and host of the DD Podhigai’s BSNL Sports Quiz.
With the stage set for the final clash, the questions categorised into seven rounds were fired at the teams. The rounds comprised general questions, audio, photo/video, dumb charades and rapid fire. It wasn’t just the teams on stage that were racking their brains to answer the question, even the young audience were constantly jumping out of their seats to get the quizmaster’s attention to answer. And they were promptly rewarded with chocolates.
At Arena, everyone walked away with interesting gyan like the Indian government’s efforts to promote tender coconut water as an ideal sports drink, that Jesse Owens visited The Hindu office in Chennai in 1955, that the Maharaja of Porbandar captained India’s first test series overseas. There was also a fun clipping of a sports person dancing in his hotel room to a pop song and the teams had to identify him. To everyone’s amusement it turned out to be Kamran Akmal, the Pakistani cricketer.
After sevens rounds of battling it out and even acting it out (in the dumb charades round), the team from Bala Vidya Mandir comprising Siddhartha S. Nathan and Vedanth Murali, both Std IX students, clinched the first place. They won a cash prize of Rs. 25,000, besides Hercules Rodeo bicycles and computer desks from Zuari Furniture.
Apoorv Abhishek and S. Adityaram from Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Chetpet, came second to bag the cash prize of Rs. 15,000. While Swati Hemant and Arjun Aravind from P.S.S.S.S. who placed third walked away with cash prize of Rs. 10,000. The remaining three teams won cash prizes of Rs. 5000 each.
Actor K. Dhanush, the chief guest who received a rousing welcome from the children, congratulated the winners and added, “Those who were placed fourth, fifth and sixth, don’t worry. That’s where I was usually placed too and I am doing pretty well in life.” He also stressed on the importance of giving one’s best even for the simplest of attempts. “You’ll never know where it’ll take you. That’s what happened with Kolaveri too.”
Mr. M. Narendra, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Overseas Bank, was present too and shared how happy he was to be a part of the initiative and see youngsters enthusiastically participating in the quiz.
SIDDHARTHA S. NATHAN and VEDANTH MURALI, Std IX, Bala Vidya Mandir: We love sports. We are part of various sports teams in school and also avidly follow sports news. Since we were tied in the final rounds, we had to play strategically. One wrong answer would have cost us. That’s why even when we knew the answer for a couple of questions, since we weren’t sure we didn’t want to take the risk. But we are happy it paid off.
APOORV ABHISHEK and A. ADITYARAM, Std IX, Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School: We got to know about the quiz just the previous day and hence didn’t have much time to prepare. But since we regularly read the sports news, especially during the lunch breaks in school, it helped a lot. The quiz was fun and we really enjoyed participating in it.
SWATI HEMANT (Std IX) and ARJUN ARAVIND (Std VIII), P.S.S.S.S.: We’re into sports, that is we play, read books and look up news in the Internet. And that helped us in this quiz. Besides, we’re avid quizzers too. We liked the video rounds. We were extremely surprised that one of our really wild guesses for a question on cricketer Imran Khan turned out to be correct.