Hundreds flock to Bolton for Hindu sports festival
MORE than 700 people travelled to Bolton from around the country to take part in a large Hindu sports festival.
The annual AMSUK Sports Festival was hosted by Krishna Temple, in Bolton, and saw a weekend of competitions at Bolton Arena.
It started with an opening ceremony on Saturday morning, with guests including the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Colin Shaw, and Hamel Patel, president of AMSUK (Association of Mandhata Samaj UK).
Among the highlights were performances of both the British and Indian national anthems, starring dancers, singers and musicians from Bolton Mandata Youth, who helped to organise the festival.
Nearly 500 participants competed in sports over the two days, including five-a-side football, table tennis, kho-kho, volleyball, rounders, chess, netball, and track and field competitions.
There were teams from across England, including Wembley, Loughborough, Leicester, West Bromwich and Preston, with each team wearing a different coloured T-shirt.
Most competitors were children and young people, though all ages could take part.
The 200 supporters — parents, siblings and friends — could join taster sessions to try out the activities while the competitions were taking place.
On Saturday night, a celebration for 900 people was held at the De Vere Whites Hotel, with food, a DJ and a surprise performance by dance duo Signature, who were finalists on Britain’s Got Talent in 2008.
And the weekend came to a close when 84 major trophies and hundreds of medals were presented to the competitors on Sunday afternoon.
The sports festival has been held for more than 20 years and is based in a different town each year.
Vinu Patel, trustee of Krishna Temple, in Beverley Road, Heaton, said: “The children are very competitive but very friendly. They make friends with people from around the country and have a really good time.
“For some of them, it’s the first time they have been away from home and been involved in something like this.
“Everyone has said it has been one of the best festivals. Whoever holds it next year has a lot to live up to.”
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