Bringing together sports personalities of India who have either written books or have been the subject of one or more books, Play Write 2018, a first-of-its-kind Sports Literature Festival of India, got off to a colourful start at Lalit Hotel, here .
Being organised under the ambit of the Vibrant Networking Forum, the two-day sports literature festival was inaugurated by international hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr., who is a three time Olympic gold champion having played a key role in India’s wins in London, Helsinki, and Melbourne Olympics
While Balbir Singh Sr. narrated some gripping stories from his childhood describing how his love for the game of hockey began, the audience was spellbound by the energy and humour with which the 95-year-old legend spoke. Balbir Singh Sr., expressed gratitude to his parents for believing in him and letting him pursue his love for the game.
“I still remember the feeling when Indian flag was hoisted at the 1948 Olympics when we beat Britain 4-0 to clinch India’s first Olympic Gold. The sense of patriotism that I felt is beyond any other feeling in the world,” he reminisced.
“I feel extremely fortunate today to share my life journey at this unique sports literature forum that I am sure shall inspire the current generation to pursue their dreams in the field of sports. A sports specific lit fest, especially in a city like Chandigarh can play a major role in ensuring that this genre of writing gets the support it deserves,” he remarked.
Co-founder of the event, Vivek Atray, said, “The idea behind Play Write, 2018 is to pay an ode to sports and the art of literature. Today, we welcome a galaxy of writers and sportspersons who have contributed indispensably in their respective fields.” He further added, “We plan to make Play Write an annual affair. This is just the beginning and we look forward to the years to come.”
Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Secretary, Punjab also graced the occasion and congratulated the organizing team for its efforts. “While it’s difficult to compartmentalize sports, something so natural to humans and even animals, I appreciate the efforts undertaken by Vivek Atray and Chitranjan Agarwal and wish them a great success in not just India but also the world-over,” he said.
Chitranjan Agarwal, another curator of the event, thanked everyone who made Play Write possible. “It’s great to realize that what started as a simple discussion over a cup of coffee has today transmuted into a reality. I express my gratitude to all the sponsors and everyone who believed in us.”
The Sports Literature festival will feature 10 interesting sessions covering games like Hockey, Cricket, Marathon running, Soccer, Boxing, Women’s Rugby and Kabaddi etc. Kings XI Punjab players will be part of a session on cricket and I-League soccer champions Minerva will be represented in a discussion on soccer. The event is sponsored by Ethos and Kuantum Papers Ltd.