Work Hard, Play Fierce – Memoirs Of Inter IIM (South) Sports Meet – Sangram 2018
Sangram – the sports battleground of the IIMs in the Southern part of India – possesses a distinction of being one of the most anticipated and awaited events in these institutes. The excitement in itself is enough to flare up an intense competitive spirit among players, who grasp the chance to prove themselves and deliver a stellar performance.
IIM Bangalore hosted the 2018 edition of the 3-day sporting extravaganza. All the IIMs of the South Zone, namely IIMB, IIMK, IIMT and IIMV fought intensely in these 3 days to claim the coveted trophy. IIM Bangalore turned out to be a great host, with their exceptional hospitality by ensuring that the visiting contingents face no trouble settling in and participating in the tournament.
At IIM Trichy, the excitement and intensity were quite palpable from the day the practice sessions began for various sports. On the night of 1st November 2018, our contingent geared up and began their journey to Bangalore. All the hard work and efforts put in the practice sessions were to be tested in the next few days. Excitement got the better of a couple of participants and they utilized the journey to discuss their play, while some relished to lighten the mood and enjoy the journey with their peers.
The next morning, the pleasant Bangalorean weather welcomed our contingent. After completing the registration formalities at IIM Bangalore campus, some of us enjoyed walking around the green campus, which is a treat to the eyes.
However, no time was left to spare or relax post settling down in the assigned dorms. The cricket team rushed to prepare for their match, which was about to start in the next hour, while others assembled at the auditorium to be a part of the inauguration ceremony, where the participants from all institutes were addressed by the Director of IIMB and the esteemed chief guest Mr. Vijay Lancy, followed by revealing of the Sangram trophy by the 4 Sports Secretaries of the respective IIMs.
The rest of the day was packed with both indoor and outdoor events. The next game in line was Women’s Basketball between IIMT and IIMK. IIMT team put up a brilliant performance and were able to hold onto a close lead for the win. The following match of Men’s Basketball between the teams from Trichy and Bangalore witnessed IIMT dominating the game and ultimately recording a comfortable victory. In the games of Badminton, Carrom, Lawn Tennis and Volleyball that followed, IIM Trichy put up a great performance, where the Throwball match between IIMT and IIMK turned out to be one of the most spectated events of the day. With students of both institutes cheering their teams, the game lived up to the expectations of a nail-biting encounter, with IIMT ultimately recording a well-earned victory.
The new event of Futsal (Women) was introduced this year to gauge the interest from participating institutes. Futsal turned out to be a success as it witnessed enthusiastic participation from IIMB, IIMK and IIMT. The three teams played against each other in a round-robin format. Though it was introduced as a non-medal sport, the excitement from the participants was complemented by great support from the respective contingents.
The 3rd place matches and league matches bundled the next day of all the participating institutes with great anticipation and excitement. The Men’s Basketball finale between IIMK and IIMT turned out to be a great and fitting show to the sport in this edition of Sangram as both teams fought hard throughout the game. With IIMT leading by a margin of 2 points, the spectators expected IIMT to emerge victorious any second. But in the final minute of the game, IIMK ensured that the game would continue to overtime in a nail-biting encounter. But the highly determined IIMT team snatched the game away by 1 point with the score ending at 27-26. The game turned out to be one of the most exciting encounters of the tournament and ended on a high note with on-court celebrations by the winning contingent.
The game of Volleyball for 3rd place between the teams from Trichy and Visakhapatnam was another example of an on as well as off the pitch battle between the two institutes. With both contingents supporting their own teams and trying their best to make their opponents unsteady, the game turned out to be of high intensity and a joyous to watch as IIMT emerged as a winner. The Chess games league was left to play between the remaining 3 institutes after IIM Vizag’s Women’s team bowed out. As both IIMB and IIMT defeated IIMK (2-0) in women’s chess, the decider game was left to be played between the former two. The game ended at a 1-1 draw, following which a tie-breaker in a 10-minute blitz format was to be played between 1 player from each institute. The first tie-breaker ended in a draw as both the players played equally well, but ultimately it was IIMB who won in the second tie-breaker and IIMT bagged the Silver.
The Men’s Chess league started with a 2-2 draw between IIMB and IIMT. There were concerns raised by IIMT to reschedule their following Chess encounter against IIMK due to fixture clashes. After the intervention and mediation by the hosts, the game was rescheduled and things were sorted. The tally before the last league match between IIMB and IIMK was such that both teams had 6 points each and IIMT leading with 8 points. As both IIMB and IIMK could secure a maximum of 4 points from the game, both had a shot at gold. But in the game IIMB prevailed and won the final game 3-1 to bag the gold medal. IIMT hence won the Silver.
The Throwball final between IIMB and IIMT at 11 AM in the morning was beautified by the pleasant weather conditions, as both teams walked up to the pitch to fight for Gold. The game began with a very determined IIM Bangalore team winning the first set by a margin of 2 points. The game later turned on its head as the team from IIM Trichy came back from 1 set down to claim the second set. As the final set began, a huge group of spectators gathered to support their respective teams. IIMT gradually picked up pace in the game and capitalized on their lead at the end to bag the gold medal. The game was played in a healthy spirit as both teams showed mutual respect and congratulated each other.
There were so many close and thrilling matches being played throughout the campus of IIMB. Each game unique in its own was quite often characterized by the frenzy of the fans belonging to both the sides. Sometimes, people in the teams not participating in that particular game took sides cheering the team of their choice. One can just imagine the magnitude of tension and deafening sounds of the fans cheering, which is no less than a mini World Cup in itself.
This edition of Sangram ended with a bunch of contrasting experiences, with the taste of victory on various fronts, but at the same time disappointment in missing out on wins in some of the other sports by a very close margin despite being tested to the limit. IIM Trichy, having improved on its previous performances, showed great contention and promise for the future, especially in women’s sports with record-breaking participation this year. Taking this year’s experiences as motivation for even more improvement, IIMT will undoubtedly work harder and look forward to challenging the other IIMs again at Sangram 2019.
The efforts put in by IIM Bangalore are truly commendable. Having addressed various requests in advance and also during the tournament, they made sure that all the participating institutes had the comfort of playing the tournament with all their best players in case of any player’s involvement in multiple sports. IIM Bangalore also gave an all-round performance in almost all their games, thereby comfortably winning the 2018 edition of Sangram. We congratulate IIMB and all other IIMs for participating in this tournament and putting their best efforts.
As another edition of the battle of sporting supremacy among the southern IIMs went by, many memories and connections were established amongst the institutes and their representatives. Already, the next edition is awaited by the institutes, as they relish the experiences gained in this tournament and prepare for another opportunity to fight for the pole position.
About the Author:
I am Amit Srivastava, first-year student and a member of the Sports Committee at IIM Trichy. I worked with one of the leading firms amongst the Big 4 for 2 years, after completing my B.Tech in I.T. I play both Football and Badminton and regularly follow the English League.