Held across 18th and 19th February, 2023, the 38th Late Jal D. Pardivala All Parsees Annual Athletic Meet -2023, witnessed over 400 participants taking part in 100 events, conducted across 16 age groups, with a huge crowd turnout comprising parents, friends and well-wishers, all cheering for their favourite participants! This Meet salutes the spirit of Parsi Sportsmen with contests held for all right from the under-6-year-old tots to 45-years-plus veterans. In fact, there is now an overwhelming demand to add a ‘Senior Citizens Category’, for those 65 years of age and above.
This year saw 32 teams from Pune, Surat, Navsari, Bangalore, Mumbai’s Parsi Colonies, BPP Baugs, Clubs, Schools, Associations and Trusts including a huge contingent from the Bai Avabai F. Petit Girls High School, Mumbai and the J N Petit Technical High School, Pune.
At the prize distribution ceremony, Vice President Rusi Bhumgara introduced the Chief Guest – Justice Shahrukh J. Kathawala (Retd.), and Jt. Hon. Secretary, Ruzbeh Sutaria introduced the Guest of Honour – Khurshid Mistry. Chief Guest, Justice Kathawala, in his address, recollected the strong connect between Parsis and sports and urged future generations to continue the same. Guest of Honour, Khurshid Mistry – a veteran Masters’ International Athlete and winner of many marathons and sprint events, also shared an inspiring talk with the participants.
The Team Championships were won by the Bombay Parsee Panchayet team in the Men’s Section and the Bai Avabai Framji Petit Girls High School in the Women’s section. This year, Mumbai’s Dadar Parsi Colony’s Mahiyar. G Dastoor, Trustee of Mancherji Edalji Joshi Memorial Trust and several other Trusts and Vice President of the All Parsees Sports Foundation, was deservingly awarded Late Air Marshal Minoo Meherwan Engineer Trophy for Life Time Contribution To Parsi Sports.
Leading National level athlete, 17-year-old Parzan Cyrus Nariman was presented the Late Jal D. Pardiwala ‘Best Athlete of the Year’ Trophy for his great performances throughout the year across various national and state level meets. In this Meet, he also equalled an earlier record set by Adille Sumariwalla in 1981 and broke two several decades old Meet records set by Erach Irani in1981 and Homiyar Mistry in 1990. He was also awarded the ‘Best Athlete of the Meet’. Another National level athlete, Tanya Vakil of Bombay Parsi Panchayat, also broke the High Jump record in the Women’s category earlier set by Zenia Ayrton in 1991.
17-year-old Parzan Nariman has been an ardent athlete for over a decade, during which he has performed consistently, winning over 150 medals at District, State, Zonal and National Level competitions. At the All Parsees Annual Athletic Meet held in Mumbai, Parzan won 3 gold medals in the 100 mts, 200 mts and Long Jump events in the Men’s Open category. In the 200 mts run and Long Jump, Parzan set 2 new meet records, which had been standing for over thirty years, and also equalled the meet record of 10.9 sec in the 100 mts run, which was created in 1981.
In the past few years, Parzan has continued to produce medal-winning performances in the Reliance Foundation for Youth Sports (RFYS) competitions, ICSE Schools State and National level meets as well as Maharashtra State Level Inter-District Championship (including Best Boy Athlete in the U-18 age group). He also qualified for the AFI Junior Nationals in Guwahati, where he represented Maharashtra State in the 300 mts run, winning a Silver medal at the AFI West-Zone Nationals held in Ranchi, in the 300m run.
Parzan started his athletics career at the All Parsees Annual Athletic Meet in 2011 at the age of 5 years.
The Sponsors of this year’s Meet were the World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust, the Bombay Parsee Punchayet, Rustomjee’s Realty, Zoroastrian Co-operative Bank Ltd., and the Zarine & Yezdi Daruvala Charitable Trust. Ruzbeh Sutaria, in his vote of thanks, expressed gratitude to the sponsors for supporting the event year after year – Union Press, Tanaz Godiwala, Trustees of Cama Convalescent Home, Bandra, Parsi Ambulance Division, Farokh Mojia of Divine Arts, Roxana Buhariwala of Dream Designs, Neeta Kocharekar of Artfarm, and the Parsi Press.
Organisers contributing to the success of the Meet were from Parsi baugs and associations, under the auspices of Nowroze Baug Play Centre, Mancherji Edalji Joshi Memorial Trust (Dadar), Cusrow Baug United Sports & Welfare League and Federation of Zoroastrian Associations for Welfare & Culture. (FOZAWAC)
The list of trophies and winners included: Late Air Marshall Minoo Merwan Engineer Trophy – Lifetime Contribution in the field of Parsee Sports awarded to Mahiyar Dastoor (Athletics); Late Jal D. Pardivala Trophy – ‘Best Athlete Of The Year’ awarded to Parzan C Nariman; Youngest Participant Of The Meet To Complete The Race awarded to Sanaya Bhagvager; Individual Championship Trophies for Girls/Under-6 awarded to Pearlyn Engineer (BPP); Boys/Under-6 awarded to Rehaan Palia (CBUSWL); Girls/Under-8 awarded to Tiana Billimoria (Alexandra Girls English Institution); Boys/Under-8 awarded to Sean Dilawarnijad (BPP); Girls/Under-10 awarded to Delrina Patrawala (Bai Avabai Framji Petit Girls High School); Boys/Under-10 awarded to Urvaksh Engineer (BPP); Girls/Under-12 awarded to Zasha Patrawala (BPP); Boys/Under-12 awarded to Maidyarem Chinoy (MEJMT); Girls/Under-14 awarded to Friyona Patel (Bai Avabai Framji Petit Girls High School); Boys/Under-14 awarded to Zerxes Daruvala (MEJMT); Girls/Under-16 awarded to Sherry Farog (CBUSWL); Boys/Under-16 awarded to Pashaan Z. Irani (Bharucha Baug); Boys/Under-18 awarded to Zeuss Sirvala (BPP); Women – Individual Championship awarded to Tanya Vakil (BPP); Men – Individual Championship awarded to Vir Bugli (BPP); Group Champion Men – Veteran awarded to Cyrus Nariman (Bangalore Parsee Zoroastrian Anjuman); Fastest Girl Athlete of the Meet awarded to Iyanah Daruwalla (CBUSWL); Fastest Boy Athlete of the Meet awarded to Zeuss Sirvala (BPP); Fastest Woman Of The Meet awarded to Tanya Vakil (BPP); Fastest Man Of The Meet awarded to Parzan Nariman (Bangalore Parsee Zoroastrian Anjuman); Javelin Throw – Men awarded to Vir Bugli (BPP); 3000 mts Run – MEN awarded to Danesh Irani (J.N.Petit Technical High School); Team Championship Cup -Women awarded to Bai Avabai Framji Petit Girls High School; Team Championship Cup – Men awarded to BPP; Best Athlete of the Meet awarded to Parzan Nariman (Bangalore Parsee Zoroastrian Anjuman); 1500 m Run – Men awarded to Taronish Irani (BPP); Tug of War (Men & Women) awarded to Zoroastrian Colony Youth Welfare Association.
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