The MIT-WPU Summit 2018 headed off to a great start on the 4th of September 2018, continuing the grand legacy of this event for the 13th year. With more than 120 colleges and 4,000 students participating from the whole nation, including a first from distant corners of India, this year also Summit stands unparalleled in being the best sports event in Pune. The inauguration ceremony commenced with the reciting of Peace Prayer of MIT at 1600 hrs. First was the welcome address from Mr James Solomon. He filled in on with the journey of Summit till date and what we expect it to be this year. After that the march past was conducted with all the participating colleges showing off their determination and prowess by marching vigorously to the beats. The 2018 Summit torch was handed over and mounted in the presence of some of the greatest sportspersons of India. The MIT-WPU flag was carried by Mr Gagan Nir (National Table Tennis Champion) with the Summit flag being held by Mr Rahul Bhat (National Water Polo Champion).They were accompanied by Mr Tejas Bansal (National Table Tennis Champion), Mr Purab Jain (National Table Tennis Champion), Mr Rahul Dange (National Level Basketball Champion) and Mr Pranav Khule (International Level Power lifter). This tradition was then followed by the address of Ms Khushbu Jethwani, with a brief view of the glories of Summit 2017 which filled every MIT-ian present, with pride. Later the audience got to witness a welcome surprise in the form of a Flash Mob! The flawless performance by the volunteers was an evidence of the hard work; they had put in the practice. And it was very well appreciated by the audience with a huge round of unending applause. Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad came up next, to honor the Chief Guest of the ceremony, Arjun Awardee Mr Sandeep Singh (Former Hockey Captain) by introducing him onstage. Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad requested Mr Sandeep’s presence, to hand out the Krida Puruskar Awards to Honourable Sri Arun Datar (Lifetime Contribution in the Field of Best Physique), Sri Girish Natu (Senior Umpire World Junior Badminton Championships) and Sri Dinesh Gund (Remarkable Contribution in the Field of Wrestling).The achievements of the awardees brought the spectators to their feet in acclamation. Each of the great sportsperson then gave a few words of wisdom to inspire each and every person present on the field that day. These speeches were thereupon succeeded by a few words from Prof Dr Mangesh T Karad. He gave us the insight as to why he started this wonderful sports Summit for engineering colleges, 13 years back. It was through his guidance and leadership, that the first successful Summit was organized. And he too elaborated on his views about how the body and the mind must both be honed to produce World Class professionals, something MIT-WPU has been consistently providing the country with. And then under the guidance of Mr Pranav Khule, all the assembled dignitaries felicitated the meritorious students. This heartfelt gesture reverberated with all the students present, who finally understood the purpose behind Summit, and the selflessness of the gesture itself. The pride was written across each and every face there. In a gesture of gratitude, the esteemed sponsors were also felicitated. Subsequently, it was time for the speech of our Chief Guest, Mr Sandeep Singh. He enunciated the importance of sports tournaments, such as MIT-WPU Summit. He was glad to see that sports were finally getting the due respect they deserve in India. The ceremony proceeded further with a few words from Chairman of Maeer’s Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad in which he welcomed this new attitude towards sports and made sure to remind all those present, of their duty towards their families and to their motherland. He wondered over how India cannot be pioneering in sports around the world despite a population of a billion plus and was happy to see that the trend was now changing, and it will soon be Indians at the forefront of International sports. He also mentioned the beneficial effects of sports in every walk of life. Lastly, Ms Sejal Pachpande gave a brief vote of thanks and directed everyone’s attention to the inaugural Football match between Symbiosis College and our own MIT-WPU that would mark the start of this incredibly grand event.

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