London, Sep 07 (BAN): NishkamSWAT hosted the Royal Amritsar Cricket Cup Tournament in association with Amar Virdi which took place on Sunday 1st September 2019 at the Indian Gymkhana Club in Osterley. The perfect sunny day to have a family outing, with plenty of supporters, competitive teams, hot fresh food and the unbeatable freshly made steaming hot Jalebi it was definitely an event not to miss and a must go to for next year. British Asia news were hanging out with the British Asian Stars the likes of Amar Virdi, Surrey Cricketer and the famous Madhu from Britain’s got Talent.
There were 8 teams competing in the tournament to win the Royal Amritsar Cricket Cup; Indian Gymkhana Club, Sira Cash & Carry, NishkamSWAT, The Punjab Covent Garden, RBS, Mazars, One Tree Interior, Indian Gymkhana Club and Deloitte. The teams were from all organisations which were affiliated with NishkamSWAT in supporting, sponsoring, donating or volunteering with them.
The competition heated up in the semi-finals with RBS vs Indian Gymkhana Club and NishkamSWAT vs Sira cash & carry. As the excitement rose and competitive team spirit kicked in the finals was contested by the event host NishkamSWAT and the Indian Gymkhana Club. I’ll let you guess who won, yes the prestigious Indian Gymkhana Club won the finals taking home the cup.
There were lots of kid’s activities with face painting and a bouncy castle, freshly made food provided by Karahi Express. Every single penny raised from yet again another successful fund raising event by NishkamSWAT will go straight to the outreach serving tables across 19 locations, 27 times a week.
A volunteer with NishkamSWAT, Kirpa gave British Asia news an insight in to the importance of this particular fundraiser; she said “we want to be able to appeal to everyone, so we try to do all kinds of fundraising events to help raise money for the homeless in our fundraisers. We do mountain climbing, walks and runs. Cricket is great for the community, it’s uniting the community, so many people bond over cricket and it helps get away for a bit have some time together and it’s really good for all ages to take part. Our last cricket event was called unity in the community.
Sanjay Sood cricket secretary at the Indian Gymkhana Club said "this is a event we are hosting on behalf of NishkamSWAT through Amar Virdi, he was a cult at this club, he was an amazing bowler & batsman”.
We were amazed to learn about the history of The Indian Gymkhana Club which goes back to over 100 years ago, they celebrated the clubs centenary 2 years ago, it was Lord Hawk who started it off and donated the grounds. The club was created in 1916 and became a magnet for cricket lovers throughout the Asian diaspora. They have had prominent teams such as India, West Indies, Nepal, Ceylon and Afghanistan to name a few who have come to play at the grounds. “When they come for oversea matches they come here to play and the teams can play against them or with them during practice. Kapil Dev has played, Yuvraj Singh, Imran Khan, Virat Kohli’s coach Rajkumar visits the grounds".
Anil the head coach has been at the club since 1991 he told us that “Chandar captained India 1991-92 she came and helped us, helped coach the girls team opportunity for girls to play all coaches are ECB level 1-2. Asian girls don’t come out to play too much, very little but the girls we have had they have come, played with the boys practiced with the boys and they go straight away into the county. We have had 4 girls come through and all 4 have gone straight to county after training here. It’s about team players, management, coaching and skills training that gets you to do well”.
Jatindra Virk assisted in organise the event he told British Asia News “I am volunteer for NishkamSWAT a part of the core Strand team on Thursdays. My role was to assist in organising this event with the boss Randeep, Amar Virdi, Satta, Hardev, Kirpa, Charlie Aman and Pal. This event actually is the first ever Royal Amritsar Cup, we are hoping for it to now be an annual tournament and only get bigger and better”.
NishkamSWAT aim is to fundraise at the event and so we caught up with some of the volunteers. Kal who is part of the Slough/Windsor team tell us that “we go out in Slough and Windsor on a Monday and Wednesday night. We serve about 70-80 people in Slough and about 25 people in Windsor. I’ve been doing this for about year and half going out”.
Bal AKA Charlie, “again like Kal I’ve been supporting this team, been doing this for 5 years now; but it’s not the only thing we do with NishkamSWAT we also have the elderly care project where we go into elderly homes fortnightly to speak to elderly people who have no one to come and see them some of them are suffering from dementia, it’s our time to give back to the elderly community, helping the nurses, helping put cream on their hands hanging out with them giving them company. At Vaisakhi which is an important time to us, for the past few years running we go out giving gifts to ill children at hospitals and sharing the knowledge and history with parents and children. There’s a lot things NishkamSWAT do homeless project is one of the main ones but we have many other smaller projects that we engage in to keep the community around us united happy and healthy”.
We found a female cricketer on the NishkamSWAT team Aman Virk and we asked her what was her role “we are here organising a charity cricket tournament and we are excited to integrate our cooperates and organisations that volunteer with us week in and week out”. She was enthusiastic and she had a love for cricket from a very young age when asked when this love started she said “it started at a very young age when I saw Yuvraj do the six sixes against England”. Watch her interview below and she gives us more of a insight into the coperate organisations that volunteers with NishkamSWAT.
Of course we couldn’t leave the grounds without talking to the super star Amar Virdi upon asking what was his first inspiration to pick up a cricket bat and ball he told British Asia News “I started my cricket career at this club here, the Indian Gymkhana Club where my older brother use to play, and seeing him play made me want to play, so that was my first inspiration. It's something I did naturally and one of the coaches at the club said you can bat and ball lets work with you and that’s where it all began. I play for Surrey County club at the moment that’s the pro team I play for.” Watch his Exclusive interview with British Asia News below.
British Asia News were able to catch some exclusive interviews with Mazars team, the Birmingham NishkamSWAT team, Vinay Singh, and members of The Gymkhana Team, see full video interviews with British Asis News resident reporter Keith Lobo below.
Exclusive Interview with Amar Virdi Surrey County Club player
Vinay Singh NishkamSWAT Birmingham
Aman Virk volunteer for NishkamSWAT
Head Coach Anil from The Indian Gymkhana Club
Mazars team give British Asia a inside about who they are
Sanjay Sood talks to British Asia News about the Indian Gymkhana Club