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Sports Day

Sports day, a decade long tradition in Ascend, that started from small 50 meter races across the lawn in school has now grown to huge 800 meter races, and competitive inter-house tournaments that span across two days. This year Diya Suriya and Gunika Chaudhary led the green house to victory, as the first ever captain and vice captain to take home a trophy after the implementation of permanent houses. Forecasted as the losers, and discounted as last place, the green house went against everyone's expectations, showing a true team effort, and support, which ultimately is what sports day is all about.

In an exciting twist this year, Ascend instituted a novel tradition by organizing students into permanent houses. The four houses were Red (fire), Yellow (wind), Green (earth), and Blue (water). The competition this year was elevated as these houses competed for the coveted House Cup, an award that crowns the overall champions, and last year was snagged by Yellow house. Points are accumulated across all events, which creates a thrilling and closely watched tally that teachers keep updating. This year, Ascend had many entertaining team events ranging from basketball and football to team relays, as well as throwball, and individual events like-- races that went from 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. There was a point system introduced this year-- 20 points for first place, 17 points for second place and 13 points for third place, which was decided by goal difference. While the point system and key player rule did cause some uproar amongst players and captains due to discussions about it being unfair, these rules were set in place, and was what decided who the winners were.

The morning of preliminary rounds on Friday began with basketball games and football simultaneously, and both junior green teams overshadowed any other house by winning both girls' and boys' junior basketball, with Dev Suriya scoring multiple three-pointers and (mention another girl that helped carry) In terms of senior boys’ basketball, the yellow house dominated, winning the finals by almost 10 baskets as predicted, thanks to Arnav Gorantala, Nihal Swadi, and others. The senior girls from red house took the girl's senior basketball team to victory as they outperformed both the yellow house and greenhouse in the finals to win their first trophy, thanks to incredible ball handling by Tara Hebbar and multiple layups from Aanya Vora.

After day one, blue and green had qualified for the football team junior finals, both boys and girls, and the red senior boys and girls team had qualified for the football final, along with green (for senior girls) and blue (for senior boys). The points on the board after day one began with Green House in the lead with 70 points after winning not one but two basketball titles, closely followed by Yellow House with 67 points, Red House with 33 points, and Blue House with 30 points. It was a surprise for almost everyone, with green actually dominating, to everyone's surprise. However everyone pushed this aside, and said that when it came to individual events, the other teams, especially Blue who were last would dominate as well as Yellow who were in second, and Green as predicted, would fall behind.

On the second day, the sports events shifted to Wings Sports Center, a ground in Bandra West with a 400-meter track and full-sized football pitch. The day started off with a roaring 800 meter race, the first one ever hosted at Ascend’s sports day. Madhav Somaiya from the green house snagged the win for the 800 meter, showing an incredible demonstration of stamina, as even though he wasn't first in the first 400m, by the last 400m he was well ahead of everyone due to his pacing. Similarly Tara Hebbar from the red team won the 800 meters, leading throughout the entire race.

As the day went on, and team events passed, as well as individual events, it started looking like a tight race with yellow dominating the scoreboard for 90% as predicted through their individual events and then falling behind after a close football finals, as none of their senior and junior, boys and girls team had qualified for the football final, giving Red, Blue and Green that 17-20 point edge.

However, the highlight of the day was the very end, with all teams exhausted and waiting with bated breath for the final scores to be released, the tension in the air was palpable. Blue and Green were the most nervous houses, as Blue hoped their recent two-team event victories would push them over the top to beat Green. Yellow and Red on the other hand looked disheartened, considering Yellow was only losing by three points the day before and had started the second day hopeful. Mr. Tonderai announced the winner, with parents having their phones recorded, students holding their breath and whispers amongst the crowd, it was Green house! Cheering and laughter filled the air as students flooded the podium. 

Diya Suriya, captain of the Green House, lifted the trophy, and the whole crowd cheered. From being considered underdogs at the beginning of the competition, students were elated, and many said that they couldn't believe that the “most unathletic team” won the cup. However, that statement was proven untrue as they snatched 3 out of ten champion trophies and the 3-foot tall house cup. It also proved how sports day wasn’t about having the most athletic ones on your team, it was largely a team effort and also participation, which Green had been extremely persistent with, ensuring that in every single event, at least two students from their house were present. As sports day continues to be one of our most treasured traditions, let's see if  Green can maintain this reputation, or will some other house rise instead?

- Ira Gandhi

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