The ASG were organised by the Australian National Sikh Sports and Cultural Council (ANSSACC), Brisbane. The body aims to promote the values of the Sikh faith, showcase Sikh culture and promote lifelong enjoyment of sports while instilling the core values of discipline, teamwork, respect and integrity through the annual ASG.
ccording to the ANSSACC, the ASG drew over 150,000 people. over 5,000 athletes competed in 14 different sports, including cricket, kabaddi, volleyball, athletics, touch football, golf, netball, basketball and hockey, during the event.
Volunteer organiser Parnam Singh Heir said the games brought Sikhs together to celebrate culture and tradition through sport.
“The Sikh are known as warriors and are very well known for their athletics and sports ability,” he said.
“This is about educating the next generation, educating them about Australian values but also staying close to their roots, their language and culture.”
Australian National Sikh Sports and Cultural Council secretary Jagdeep Singh said the type of Kabbadi played at the games was only found in northern India and Pakistan.
“It’s very important for us to keep that alive,” Mr Singh said.
He said the Australian Sikh Games had grown so much since their inception in 1987 that the event had become one of the biggest Sikh festivals in the world outside India.
“It means I can show my kids, who are born in Australia and have very limited access to our traditions in India,” Mr Singh said.
“In this, they can meet with other people from other states who can speak the same language, so it’s very important to us.”
Athletes and spectators are given free food for the length of the event, thanks to volunteers from Brisbane’s Sikh Temple.
“We have been cutting onions for the last week, as well as garlic and ginger and getting the tomatoes ready,” volunteer Garima Dhillon said.
“We have prepared about five quintals of dal just for one day, so that’s about 500 kilos.
“And we’ve got volunteers with about 100 kilos of apples and bananas for every day.”
Ms Dhillon said dishing up the food for free was part of the Sikh religion.
“Sikhism believes in the word, seva, which means selfless love and selfless service to everyone,” she said.
“These are Sikh Games but we have advertised them as the games of the community for people to learn our culture, learn what we do and learn who we are, so this is massive.”