x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Growth is mantra for DPS Sharjah school's sporting fiesta

Hosts win four of seven championships and plan to extend the now international tournament to 10 days.

SHARJAH // Delhi Private School (DPS) Sharjah made the most of home advantage to snare the lion's share of titles in an inter-school tournament described as being a "melting pot of cultures".

The school won four of the seven championships at the Sundeep Batavia Memorial Inter-school Tournament after six days of intense competition among 22 schools in cricket, basketball and table tennis.

The tournament is now in its eighth year and Vandana Marwaha, the DPS Sharjah principal, said: "We look forward to this part of the year with great excitement because in this one week DPS Sharjah becomes a melting pot of cultures and students from various backgrounds."

The tournament was started to fill a hole in the cricket scene as there were no competitions for Under 12 boys, and Vikram Dutt, DPS Sharjah's cricket coach and a former first-class cricketer from India, presented his idea to the school management.

The tournament has seen a steady growth since. This year the sporting fiesta attracted schools from overseas - two from India, one from Kuwait and another from Oman.

There were 12 teams taking part in the boys' basketball competition and eight in the girls' tournament while there were 12 teams competing for the cricket title and five each in the four table tennis categories.

"Earlier we were focusing only on the UAE," T Ali, the head of the school's physical education department, said. "But now for the last two or three years we are inviting teams from India, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. So year by year we are growing."

There are plans to introduce more sports in the coming years and invite more teams as well.

"Next year we will try to add another sport and run the event across 10 days," Dutt said.

DPS Sharjah clinched the girls' basketball crown for the third consecutive time, while the school's table tennis squad won the boys' Under 16 and girls' Under 19 titles. In the cricket final, for Under 12s, the hosts defeated Dubai Modern School by three runs in the final.

St Mary's Dubai, the defending champions, retained their boys' basketball title, defeating DPS Bangalore 85-50. Indian High School Dubai took the boys' Under 19 table tennis honours, while Our Own English Dubai were the girls' Under 16 champions.