THE Gurdwara Singh Sabha Society Griffith will host the 22nd Shaheedi Memorial Tournament over this June long weekend.
Known colloquially as the “Sikh Games”, the tournament will be held in the city from 9am on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10.
Committee member Manjit Singh Lally said it was a huge event both in Australia and internationally.
“On the Australian Sikh calendar there are two big events,” Lally said.
“The Australian Sikh Games is held every Easter long weekend and it moves from city to city. Last year was Adelaide, this year was Sydney then Melbourne.
“The Griffith games always stays in Griffith. There is no other thing happening on the Sikh calendar this weekend.”
Events to be held as part of the competition include volleyball, senior kabaddi, tug-of-war, senior soccer, wrestling and athletics events for children. There are also fun games, such as ladies musical chairs, turban tying and martial arts exhibitions.
Traditionally based at Ted Scobie Oval, this year the games have had to expand to West End Stadium for some competitions, with people attending from all over Australia.
“We are expecting about 18,000,” Lally said. “There’s no room anywhere.
“We have more teams this year, in everything.
“In the volleyball, we’ll have smashing volleyball at West End (stadium) and shooting volleyball at Ted Scobie.”
A $20,000 grant from the state government and the continued support of sponsors, including major sponsor Casella Wines and Griffith City Council, has allowed organisers to provide a shuttle bus service between three sites to allow for ease of movement across the weekend.
The bus will run from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, between the temple in Hanwood, the visitor information centre and the ovals.
Visitors are encouraged to park away form the site catch the bus to the ovals.
There will also be a 40kmh speed limit in place for 200 metres around the ovals this year.
“We are trying to improve things,” Lally said.
“The event is getting bigger and bigger every year.
“Use the bus so we can reduce the traffic congestion. We are trying to get 300 or 400 cars away from the site.”
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A number of community groups and organisations will have information stalls set up as part of the games and the weekend is open to all members of the community to enjoy.
The weekend’s events are all alcohol-free, but there will be free food and drink available. Donations will be collected on Sunday, to be put towards the Griffith Base Hospital.
While competition is only for Sikh community members, the regional-based soccer teams are able to call on two non-Sikh players to help with their numbers.
The Shaheedi Memorial Tournament provides a huge boost to Griffith businesses.
“It is beneficial to the local community,” Lally said. “It brings in around about half a million dollars in two days. Businesses do very well.”
For more information, contact Manjit Singh Lally on 0413 738 277.
Kabbadi is a high-energy highlight that will delight
THE traditional sporting highlight of the annual Shaheedi Memorial Tournament is undoubtedly kabaddi.
Seen occasionally in Australia, it is a high-energy, full-contact team sport that is popular across Asia and in particular the sub-continent, but can now be found being played around the world.
The Griffith competition attracts teams from around the country, as well as some from overseas.
For the uninitiated, kabaddi is similar to British bulldog ... or a bit like rugby league … but that’s like comparing apples with oranges.
In kabaddi two teams compete, with each occupying its own half of the court.
They take turns sending a "raider" into the opposing team's half and earn points if the raider manages to touch opposing team members and return to the home half, all while taking only a single breath.
However, if the raider is tackled and prevented from returning, the opposing team earns the point.
Kabaddi is played by both men and women, although they compete separately.
There are two styles of play in kabaddi - standard and circle.
“Standard” is played internationally with two teams of seven players on a 10x13-metre field in 20-minute halves.
“Circle” style has four forms, including versions where players leave the field once tagged.
Truth, equality are core for Sikhs
A way of life and philosophy founded by Guru Nanak over 500 years ago, the Sikh religion has a following of over 20 million people around the world.
The core tenet of Sikhism is a devotion and remembrance of God, alongside truthful living, equality of mankind and social justice, while denouncing superstitions and blind rituals.
Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 gurus, enshrined in the Sikh holy book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sikhism does not have priests, only custodians of the holy book, which can be read in the Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) or in the home.
Philosophy and beliefs
- There is only One God. He is the same God for all people of all religions.
- The soul goes through cycles of births and deaths before it reaches the human form. The goal of our life is to lead an exemplary existence and merge with God.
- This path does not require renunciation of the world or celibacy, but living the life of a householder, earning a honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins.
- Sikhism condemns blind rituals such as fasting, pilgrimage, superstitions, worship of the dead, idol worship, etc.
- Sikhism preaches that people of different races, religions, or sex are all equal in the eyes of God. It teaches the full equality of men and women, who can participate in any religious function or perform any ceremony.