ILLINOIS GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS “PUNJABI SPORTS FESTIVAL DAY” IN ILLINOIS
PUNJABI CULTURAL SOCIETY OF CHICAGO HOSTED ANNUAL BASKETBALL AND VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENTS ALONG WITH AN ALL DAY FAMILY FUN AND SPORTS
Chicago, Aug 05, 2013
"CHICAGO UNTOUCHABLES" BAG THE PCS CHICAGO BASKETBALL CUP
Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (P.C.S.) organized its 19th annual Punjabi Sports Festival and an all day healthier community fun fair on Saturday July 27, 2013 at Falcon Park Recreation Center, 2195 N. Hicks Road in Palatine Illinois. More than 500 community members attended.
State of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued a proclamation that July 27, 2013 was “Punjabi Sports Festival Day” in Illinois to honor Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago for its community service programs for the Punjabi community.
"Whereas the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago has created an annual sports festival and is dedicated to promoting exercise and healthy life styles while showcasing and developing athletic activity in the land of Lincoln, Therefore, I Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim, July 27, 2013 as PUNJABI SPORTS FESTIVAL DAY in Illinois, in recognition of this event and in support of advancing health and athletics in the Land of Lincoln," said the proclamation signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State of Illinois.
"I applaud the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) for its commitment and dedication, and holistic approach to community building and its comprehensive programming encompassing a variety of aspects of community life and its needs," said Governor Quinn in his message delivered at the event by Senior Policy Advisor and Asian American outreach director Theresa Mah.
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford who has been a regular attendee at PCS events also sent a special message to be read at the festival.
"By promoting physical activity through this kind of sports programming, the Punjabi Cultural Society provides a tremendous service to the people of Chicago and aids them in achieving a healthier lifestyle,” said Rutherford’s message.
State of Illinois Representative from 57th district Elaine Nekritz, Theresa Mah Illinois Governor's Asian American outreach director, Cook County Commissioner Board of Review Dan Patlak, former Palatine IL Mayor Rita Mullins, and Palatine Township Democratic Committeewoman Sue Walton, along with PCS officials and community leaders inaugurated this sports festival by releasing a bunch of helium balloons into the partly sunny silver sky.
The tournament started with a prayer and the US national anthem. The PCS Chicago chairman Lakhvir Singh Sahota, president Surinder Singh Sangha, welcomed the athletes and the spectators. Sports director Gurmit Singh Dhillon made the logistical arrangements.
This was the 19th year in a row for former Palatine Mayor Rita Mullins to inaugurate this event. She has never missed a PCS Sports Festival ever since its inception. The distinguished guests in their remarks congratulated PCS for organizing such forward looking community events to promote healthier life style amongst our next generation community youth to channel their energies in a positive direction.
Ten Basketball and four Volleyball teams hailing from Chicago and suburbs, Saint Louis MO, and Cincinnati Ohio qualified and competed in the tournament for the PCS Chicago championship trophies and cash awards. Outside professional referees judged the tournament games. This all day Basketball tournament was held indoors in the courts of the new state-of-the-art air-conditioned facilities, while the Volleyball nets were setup outside at Falcon Park in Palatine, IL.
“Basketball and Volleyball are very popular games in schools that our children play and enjoy. P.C.S. wants to promote these sports among our youth,” said Surinder Singh Sangha the P.C.S. Chicago President.
“With focus on holistic fitness, we want to encourage our next generation to get good education, play sports, eat right and exercise,” said Lakhvir Singh Sahota the P.C.S. Chicago Chairman.
The winner of PCS Chicago Basketball Championship Cup and the cash prize of $1100, sponsored by Jarnail Singh Lail in loving memory of his father Kehar Singh Lail, this year was last year's runners-up team named “Chicago Untouchables.” The basketball runners-up trophy and cash prize of $500 sponsored by Sukhmel Singh Atwal in loving memory of his mother Jasbir Kaur Atwal, went to the team "Chicago Air Singhs."
The PCS Chicago Volleyball Championship Cup and the cash prize of $1100 sponsored by Lakhvir Singh Sahota and family was won by “Shaheed Bhagat Singh Club,” and the volleyball runners-up trophy and a cash prize of $500 sponsored by Amrik Singh of Amar Carpets went to “Saint Louis Sikh Study” team.
All the individual players of the winners and the runners-up teams of each sport were also awarded trophies.
All the participating athletes and spectators were served BBQ chicken, Chhole, Bhature, Rice, Karhi, Pakauras, Jalebis, soft drinks, hot tea for lunch and bottled water all day. The event was free and open to all.
Yoga, and Zumba classes taught by professional instructors turned out to be very popular with the audience. Bhangra broke out as soon as Punjabi music came on.
Harmeet Singh, a personal trainer demonstrated correct way of stretching before and after exercising.
Armaan Singh Athwal, 9 years old, a state level athlete in his age category and his sister Avijeet Kaur Athwal demonstrated superb gymnastics routines amidst thunderous applause. Many in audience awarded cash prizes to encourage the young athletes.
The full day fun activities included musical chair race, tug-of-war, balloon toss, several children's races for various ages, and ladies races held throughout the day. Cash prize gift cards were awarded to the winners.
A moon-walk bouncy clubhouse for the little children to jump around in and have fun kept them occupied and entertained.
“There was ton of fun for everyone,” said Rajinder Singh Mago PCS Board of Governors and also Master of Ceremonies at the festival.
The attendees took advantage of the volleyball nets after the tournament and enjoyed playing volleyball rest of the day. Some attendees walked around the park enjoying the weather cashing in on an opportunity to get together in fresh air.
To the great enjoyment of all in attendance, Avtar Multani and his live band from Indiana played melodious music and sang a variety of heartwarming and nostalgic Punjabi songs. He is awaiting release of his first album. The audience relaxing in their chairs or sitting on the grass like in a musical concert, soaking the lukewarm sun, listening to the music, relished the ambiance to its fullest .
Weather wise it started out a little cloudy, breezy, and damp, but turned out to be gorgeous as the day progressed.
The sports festival was sponsored by Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini, Dr. Narinder Singh Grewal, Lakhvir Singh Sahota, Jarnail Singh Lail, Sukhmel Singh Atwal, Amrik Singh (Amar Carpets), Dr. Navdeep Kaur and Harjinder Singh Sandhu (Sandhu Petroleum), Gulzar Singh Multani, Jagmeet Singh, Gurdev Singh (Khalsa Petroleum), Suga Builders, Lakhbir Singh Sandhu, Joga Singh (Taste of India, Dover, NH), Balwinder Girn, Surinder Singh Palia, Dr. Balwant Singh Hansra, Legal Shield, Prof. Jaginder Singh Ramdev, Parminder Singh Ghotra, Parmjit Singh Dhillon, “Kohl’s Cares”, Swaran Singh and Nikki Sekhon, Sokhi Singh, Dr. Surjit Singh Thiara, Arlington Rentals, and Falcon Park facilities management team.
Roy Singh Sangha’s sponsorship came in to create awareness in children and adults of diabetes and high blood pressure through “HarjapSanghaFoundation.org.”
The event was organized by Surinder Sangha, Gurmit Dhillon, Vick Singh, Pardeep Deol, Balwinder Girn, Harpreet Grewal, Mohinderjit Singh Saini, Paul Lail, Baljit Sidhu, Sunny Kular, Ronny Kular, Thakar Basati, Jasbir Palia, Sukhmel Atwal, Bhinder Pamma, Parminder Ghotra, and Rajinder Singh Mago.
The volunteers coordinating the event were Sukhwinder Kaur Thind, Amrit Kaur Thind, Amritpal Singh Girn, Gurpreet Singh Girn, Bikram Singh Chohan, Ranjit Singh Bains, Jaspal Singh Khaira, Surinder Singh Bhatia, Jaskaran Singh Saini, Gursimran Kaur Dhillon, Sukhvir Kaur Dhillon, Paramjot Kaur Dhillon, Paul Saini, Nancy Carollo, Nisha Saini, Zeb Beg, Harleen Kaur Saini. Dr. Savinder Singh Chadha was the volunteer event emergency physician.
The sound systems indoors and outdoors were provided by DJ Twin Beats. Food was catered by K.K. Pamma, and photos by ABC Photography. Equipment rental was through Arlington Rental, and the awards by A1 Trophies.
PCS' next event is P.C.S. Chicago International Bhangra & Gidha Competition on November 9, 2013.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a not-for-profit community service organization devoted to promoting healthy life style and sports, education, good citizenship, Punjabi culture, language, and performing arts, in the metropolitan Chicago area.
Photo credits: PCS Chicago, ABC Photography, Amandeep Singh, Gurmit Singh Dhillon