With the advent of the post-COVID era in 2022, the Inter IIT Sports event has returned after a hiatus of 2 years. IIT Delhi has been given the opportunity to work with IIT Roorkee to host the major sporting event on its grounds this time. Teams have been working day and night tirelessly to win the prestigious Inter IIT trophy, and the campus has been buzzing with anticipation for the competition.
The 36th Inter IIT Aquatics Meet, held on the campus of IIT Delhi from October 5 to October 9, 2022, served as the official opening of Inter IIT sports meet, 2022. Contingents from 13 other IITs came in to compete in the various events organised over the span of 5 days, including solo swimming races and sports like Water Polo. IIT Delhi performed admirably,well, currently holding third place in the overall tournament. Join us as we explore the Inter IIT Aquatics Meet in greater detail and provide you with the information and opinions of those who participated in the competition.
The inauguration ceremony of the 36th Inter IIT Aquatics Meet, held on the 4th of October, commenced with a march past by the 14 IITs. All of the 14 IITs marched with flags raised high as the BSF band played. These flags were then raised at the oath-taking ceremony led by the general secretary of BSA. Director, IIT Delhi, Prof. Rangan Banerjee addressed the crowd, reflecting on the great importance of the event as the first aquatics meet hosted inside the IIT Delhi campus. Previous aquatics meets hosted by IITD were held in pools outside IITD. He elaborated on the importance of sports in the IITs and encouraged the contingents to uphold the spirit of sports. The chief guest at the event was Mr. Bhanu Sachdeva, recipient of the 1998 Arjuna Award for swimming. By sharing learnings from his own professional career in the field of swimming, he motivated the students to partake in the games with full vigour, to dismantle the general stereotype that people have about IITians.
The contingents of IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee bagged the first and second positions respectively in March Past. Mementos were awarded to authorities who had made significant contributions to the BSA and to the Institute's sports overall. This was followed by a soulful rendition of The Yellow Diary’s Marz, followed by a spectacular performance of Seven Nations Army by the members of the Music Club, BRCA. The event was concluded with a vote of thanks to all the organising authorities and IIT Roorkee for being a crucial part in the management of the meet as the co-host of the Inter IIT sports meet 2022.
Day-wise summary of matches
For those who couldn’t keep up with the five happening days of events and matches, here is a summary of IITD’s performance throughout the tournament
First day kicked off on a low, as IITD lost a closely contested match to IITB in Water Polo. In the various racing events, IITD students bagged podiums in 100m Backstroke (M&W), 200M Breastroke (M) and 400m Freestyle(M).
IITD won against both Kanpur and Guwahati in Water Polo, beating Guwahati by a comprehensive margin. In the other racing events, IITD students grabbed podiums in 50m Backstroke (M) and 200m Freestyle(M).
IITD beat IITR at Water Polo. Additionally, students grabbed podium places in 200m Backstroke (M), 50M Freestyle (W) and 4X50m Freestyle(W).
IITD beat Bombay in another closely contested match of Water Polo, bagging the bronze medal for Water Polo. Students yet again showed exemplary performance in the racing events, namely 50m Breaststroke(M), 1500m Freestyle(M), 4x100m Freestyle(W) and 4x50m Medley(W).
Men's and women's IITM and IITKGP respectively took the top spots in the overall GC standings, with IITD placing third in both.
Abhinav Kumar Singh of IITD was named the best water polo player, and IITD finished third in the competition behind IITM and IITKGP.
What BSA GSec and DGSec have to say
The Board of Sport Activities (BSA) student delegates were very excited to have the opportunity to host the major Inter-IIT event during their tenure. "We hold other sporting events throughout the year, but Inter-IIT is the grand finale." Once every 10 to 12 years, each IIT gets the opportunity to host this event on their campus, and it truly becomes a task of enormous responsibility, according to the BSA General Secretary, Shubham Singh Rathore. He added that the Inter-IIT represents the prestige of the host institute among the other IITs. Thus, it becomes crucial for the host IIT to treat the participating teams properly, offer them first-rate services, and provide them with a good platform to display their talents.
The BSA Deputy General Secretary expressed great pride in the team's accomplishments when asked about the performance in the Aquatics Meet. "After the last gold in 2002, we won the bronze in water polo after 20 years. In the men's and women's swimming, respectively, we are third and fourth. We are currently in third place overall in the competition. This is truly a victory for our team after an unplanned two-year hiatus from sports." He discussed how the morale of the contingent had improved as a result of these victories. The players' sincerity and stability showed steep growth, and the team's cohesiveness improved drastically over the course of the matches. "They have a lot of enthusiasm and are putting in the extra effort to bring the trophy home."
Nevertheless, despite the excitement that surrounded Inter-IIT and, consequently, the Aquatics Meet, the enthusiasm simmered down for spectator turnout. "The crowd's cheers and applause provide players with the inspiration to play. We had anticipated seeing more students there to watch the games. For them, it would have been a beautiful experience."
The Board was delighted and impressed by the contingent’s performance throughout the course of the five days. They also hope that by hosting this competition, more students will be inspired to take up sports and work hard and diligently to advance the institute. "Inter-IIT is a beautiful experience of its own, and we do look forward to winning it this year."
What BSA President has to say
BSA president, Prof. V. Perumal, expressed his immense excitement and satisfaction after having hosted the 36th edition of the Inter-IIT Aquatics meet successfully. The Institute had to house over 200 participants, all from different parts of the country, which he viewed as a rehearsal for the upcoming edition of the Inter IIT meet, whereby the Institute will be organising all indoor sports events, athletic events, and basketball matches, with over 2000 participants. The BSA authorities worked thoroughly to make provisions for the participants as comfortable as possible. Transportation, lodging, communication, and correspondence were all taken care of with attention to detail. The food served to the participants was closely monitored by authorities in-person to ensure quality. Most of the execution of the event was carried out smoothly, aside from the unforeseen rain, which necessitated the rescheduling of some events and reduced the offline viewership at the SAC swimming pool. However, authorities swiftly tackled the situation so as to not cause any unnecessary delays in the event.
This time, IITD introduced the use of ‘touchpad timers’ in racing events - these devices are fixed at the end of each track and are clocked by touch in real-time. When the device is touched, the score and real-time finish of every player automatically pops-up on the board, thus doing away with appeals that might have arisen as a result of viewer-based evidence or referee bias. IITD arranged 55 referees who have officiated at the national or international level. The authorities also plan to use ‘photo-finish cameras’ to accomplish the same in athletics events to be held later this year.
Perumal Sir brought to light this lacuna that presently exists in all fields-be it academic, sports or cultural activities. This gap, stemming from the two-year lockdown, has heavily impacted the students in their fields of interest. Bridging this gap will require the effort of both the students and the administration, for which the BSA and the administration are extending their wholehearted support in all forms to all players of the Institute in order to fuel their training and participation. Sir extends his congratulations to all the participants of this Inter IIT Aquatics meet and wishes all the upcoming participants good luck in their endeavours and encourages them to participate in the true spirit of sportsmanship.
What participants have to say
We heard from some of the participants from different institutes about their views of the event. For most of them, it was a feat of great pride for them to have the opportunity to represent their institute at an inter-institutional level. They regarded the event as a befitting benchmark for the upcoming Inter-IIT Meets. They were especially impressed by the use of touch-pads in the races, which was a first-time implementation and was successfully executed. The participants emphasised the healthy and uplifting competitive spirit that prevailed throughout the competition. Contingents from one institute helped those from other institutes with their gameplay and technique. It was a great learning experience for the whole lot of them, as most of them were taking part for the very first time in an Inter-IIT event. Even the experienced Inter-IIT players were astonished by the extent of competition posed by the other contingents. Excitement buzzed through all the five days of the grand event.
Participation for most of the teams had been quite restricted as institutes were just springing back into proper functional conditions post lockdown; hence, for most of them, swimming pools were under construction, barring proper practice. Despite limited facilities, the teams were able to display exemplary performance at the SAC pool. A lot of the participants spent their leisure either roaming around campus or going for a Delhi Darshan, plans for which were cancelled for some teams due to the unforeseen rain. The participants excitedly also mention some of their after-event shenanigans whereby the teams would have fun jumping and playing in the pool—something they described as a core memory from this event. The participants were overall highly satisfied by the quality of facilities provided by the institute for them, starting from comfortable lodging to exceptionally good mess food. Some of them faced some issues with the rain, which gave rise to insects that troubled their place of stay. However, all of them commended the quick and easy communication on the part of the organisers and were delighted to meet the volunteers post the prize distribution ceremony.
~From the teams of IIT BHU,IIT Gn, IIT Ropar, IITKGP and IITKPR
The 36th Inter IIT Aquatics Meet was concluded with a grand gala night and an auspicious prize distribution ceremony held in the new SAC. All of the contingents were pleased with the hospitality and goodwill shown to them. IIT Delhi's outstanding aquatics performance instils new passion and enthusiasm in the students, who are all eager to take home the trophy this year. BSP sends its best wishes to the contingent for the upcoming Inter-IIT games in December!
Written By: Abhinava Anwesha Mohanty, Harsh Swaika, Kavya Chopra, Md Faizan Raza, Rajat Golechha, Unnati Goyal, Raavya Jain and Rudrakshi Singhal
Design by: Divya Gupta, Prisha Jain
Photo credits: Harshal Gupta