The 122nd Annual Sports of Government College University Lahore has commenced with a splendid opening ceremony held at the university's Oval Ground. The event is set to span over three days and will witness the participation of 10,000 students from 36 departments of the university, and it will feature an array of activities such as an athletics meet, gymkhana events, and a march past.
This year, a new tradition was introduced, as physically-challenged students were given the honour of carrying the torch for the university's annual sports instead of athletes. The torch was handed over to physically challenged students by Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi, who held it proudly during the opening ceremony.
The torch relay for the 122nd Annual Sports began from the Governor's House, where Ravians cheered and waved the flag of Government College University Lahore. Governor of Punjab, Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman, lit a spiral-shaped torch and handed it over to Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi.
The Vice-Chancellor, along with Commissioner Lahore Muhammad Ali Randhawa, rallied his sportsmen on The Mall to the University's Clock Tower. At the tower, the torch was passed on to a physically challenged student, who doesn't have hands, but held the torch proudly with his feet.
A significant number of foreign students and faculty members also took part in the grand march past at the university's Oval Ground.
The Department of Commerce and Finance was declared the winner of the best march-past contingent trophy, followed by the Departments of International Relations and Law, who were adjudged second. The contingents of the Department of Psychology and Sustainable Development Study Centre shared the third position.
In addition to the annual sports, the opening ceremony was also marked by Qawali Night, adding to the vibrancy of the event.
Addressing the ceremony, Vice Chancellor Prof. Zaidi highlighted the significance of sports as a tool for peace and development globally. He added that sports at GCU Lahore have a strong legacy, and being one of the oldest seats of higher learning in the subcontinent, they should never ignore its significance and role in community development. He appreciated the increasing participation of girls in sports. He also shared the tremendous achievements of the male and female athletes of GCU in the inter-university games last year.
Commissioner Lahore Randhawa extended his greetings and felicitations to the students of GCU and the city of Lahore as they also celebrate Spring Festival 2023, along with the University's 122nd annual sports. “This year's celebration is unique in the sense that a series of colourful events have been structured as part of Spring Festival 2023. One highlight of the Festival is a collaboration with universities,” he said.