Fitness Day at Meenakshi Temple 5-K Walkathon and the Inaugural Basketball Tournament

MTS 5-K Walkathon

MTS Walkathon, April 20.

MTS Walkathon, April 20.

By Dr. Al Alagappan
PEARLAND: The saying “Healthy body is important for a Healthy Mind” is often heard; this theme was the background to Sri Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) Fitness day held on Aprill 20th.

The day started with the second annual 5-K Walkathon event with around 200 people (adults and children) participated and this year it provided fund raising event to benefit the main temple renovation project (MTRP).

The entire walking track was prepared within the MTS premises with the help of temple staff and few dedicated volunteers. Despite the April showers few days ago, the ground was mostly dry on the day and the organizers did a tremendous job getting the walking track prepared. It was a feast to the eyes to see the cheerful participants starting to gather from 7 am on a Sunday morning with their active sporting gear and walking shoes. The weather was perfect for the walk with a little bit of mist and fog in the beginning with the sun coming up at the right time. The event started off with a brief warm up and followed by Mrs. Hasitha’s demonstration of Sun salutation, then the aarthi inside the Ganesh temple performed by the temple priest, Parameshwaran Bhattar.

The MTS Chairman, Dr. Vaduganathan and Nacha Vaduganathan kicked off the event with the ribbon cutting ceremony. The kids ranging from 2-15 years participated in a shorter version of 3-K walk, and were thrilled to find several Easter eggs along the way. The youngest lot also participated in the coloring contest. All the adult participants completed the full 5-K which comprised of three full rounds on the track, while some over enthusiastic participants completed five rounds. It was a serene atmosphere at the temple with the morning ragas playing in the back ground which made the walk even more enjoyable. Several volunteers distributed water, fruit juices and bananas to the participants. Free hats for the children and T shirts were sponsored by the event coordinators, Dr. Alagappan and Saro Alagappan.

The chief guest for the event was kept as a secret till the end while everyone was guessing. The long time devotee as well as one of the generous donors of the previous MTS events and projects including the GTRP (Ganesh temple renovation project) Dr. Appan was duly recognized by the MTS Chairman. Dr. Appan distributed the door prizes as well the prizes for the oldest male and female participant which was given to Anantha and Dhanam Thiagarajan, and to the youngest participant boy, Anirudh (3 1/2 years) and the youngest girl (2 1/2 years) Anisha from Katy. The event concluded with a hot sumptuous free breakfast provided by Food coordinator Jeyam Thiagarajan and Staff Sri Meenakshi temple.

The fund raiser was a huge success, thanks to the corporate and individual sponsors who supported this event. Looking at the over whelming enthusiasm among the participants, a permanent walking track at the MTS may soon become a reality to benefit the devotees.

MTS Inaugural Basketball Tournament

MTS Basketball tournament.

MTS Basketball tournament.

By Mahesh Iyer
PEARLAND: When the first MTS Spring Basketball tournament got off to an on-time start of 11:00 AM, it was simply a prelude to the precise execution of a well thought out event. Chairman Dr. Vadagunathan kicked off the event with a short speech which concluded thus: “may the best team win”. There were 38 contestants spread over the greater Houston area, divided into 4 teams. Krishnan Swaminathan, the lead coordinator for the event, left no stone un-turned as far as managing every step of the month long planning and execution process.
The nail biting finish between “A-Team” and “Alley-Oops”, kept the 100+ spectators on the edge of their seats. True sportsmanship prevailed when Kotesh Rao and Venkat Ramanathan, who respectively coached these two teams, shook hands and encouraged each other’s teams. All the team members exhibited remarkable competitive spirit in the true sense of accomplished sportsmen. In the end, all the spectators concluded that the unforgettable sparkle in the eyes of the finalists was totally worth the month long preparation leading up to the day long competition.
Needless to say, the other two teams “Jay Hawks” and “Clearlake Cobras” did put on a massive fight. All games did end up being too close to call till the last few seconds. This kept the referees and scorekeepers on high alert throughout the games. It was indeed a welcome sight to see community wide participation for all aspects of the game.
A long overdue tournament, well worth the efforts of keeping young adults within the temple going community, and what an awesome spirit.
It was indeed an Amazing day at the Meenakshi Temple.