Review: Arena ’15

Three days of blood, sweat and tears from the teams that participated, and a lot of cheering, sledging and frolicking for the rest of us; this Arena was a real sensation. The largest of its kind, it surely was a memorable affair. The sheer participation was amazing and the competition was fierce. From what I remember of Arena-’14 the teams this time were better, were far more in number and very sportive. We saw some of the most amazing showdowns and even though we didn’t win all of them, we were not disappointed by the performances. Amazing also was the performance of all B-teams, these were the underdogs who showed real spirit and made it very high on the table. You showed real promise and we’re proud of you.

First off, congratulations to all my fellow BITSian for a brilliant performance, though I must admit there were many a match that I could not watch. That brings us to the first thing that I wanted to talk about, the fixtures. Many BITSian teams participated with nearly no support from the audience because of the sheer number of matches going on simultaneously. There were so many teams, and I do understand that there was tremendous stress in arranging team match-ups, but moving forward we need to keep it such that events with BITSian teams do not clash. Any sport demands just as much support as the other and I believe that we need to be there for our team cheering them on, as it makes a huge difference. Many matches that were really even, were offset in our favour when the opponent had to battle against our team as well as our spirited BITSian crowd. A nifty solution is to have BITSian game schedules put up in places that are visible to BITSians; Messes and SAC being prime examples.

The next issue was the high registration fee, and having participated in many local tournaments and college sports fests I felt it was much higher than normal. I hope that this is a onetime issue, because we might lose good teams in this affair, and further, high registration fees will not be in line with sustainable fest budgets. I say this because the crowd that came to this fest was large, however this may not always be the case as the average sports fest registration cost is much lesser. This in turn might hamper our image as a leading local sports festival.

Firewalls did a truly wonderful job, but that said, a few hiccups in the first few games were evident and the communication chain was convoluted. But towards the end they seemed to have managed it well and as a player and as a third party spectator I loved the seamless flow of matches post day 0. A shout to the publicity department for the amazing footfall, and DOVE and DOPY who were always on scene and gave regular day-to-day updates and highlights. That said the fest will only get bigger and I suggest to constantly work toward better efficiency and eventually excellence.

One finger must go up to the comedy show which was, by all standards, the worst. There was very little comedy and to be honest I am saddened that any money was spent on them. They ruined a good evening, a good auditorium and I wouldn’t even grace them with insult though I find many words bubbling up in my mind. The joke, unfortunately, was on us.

Arena is something more to me than just a fest, I’ve captained my team in one and fought alongside my team on and off the field in the other two. I have nothing but hope that the following versions of this fest will be much better and one day hope to see this as the largest sporting fest in our country.

Signing off,

Harsha Dutta (HD7)
Rise and Shine

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