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HT GIFA 2017: Season four kicks off in style with Akshay Kumar

Confetti, fire displays, Akshay Kumar and the Cup of Dreams. SARE Homes HT GIFA opened with a grand ceremony.

ht gifa Updated: Sep 22, 2017 17:07 IST
Aditya Dogra and Yashasvi Maleyvar
Aditya Dogra and Yashasvi Maleyvar
Hindustan Times
HT GIFA,Akshay Kumar,HT Great Indian Football Action
Akshay Kumat dances with the divas of Zenith dance troupe at the grand opening ceremony of HT GIFA.(Raajessh Kashyap/HT Photo)

With music, dance, fun activties and over 5000 GIFA players, parents, coaches and special guests cheering on, the biggest sports extravaganza in the capital, SARE Homes HT Great Indian Football Action saw one of the grandest opening ceremonies at Thyagraj Stadium last Saturday.

Delhi-based multi-genre band, Astitva, performed for a packed stadium at the opening ceremony of HT GIFA. ( Raajessh Kashyap/HT Photo )

Kicking off the celebrations was Delhi based multi-genre band, Astitva, who performed renditions of famous Bollywood numbers such as Bang Bang and Kabira along with their original compositions such as Dil Banjara. The lead vocalist, Salman Khan, also interacted with the crowd and clicked selfies with them during his performance. Next up, came the kids of Zenith Dance Troupe who grooved to the GIFA anthem before the emcee for the evening, TV actor Rithvik Dhanjani joined them for a few more numbers. The crowd applauded and cheered as the emcee was joined on stage by GIFU, the official mascot of GIFA, who celebrated the fourth birthday of the tournament by cutting a cake.

Members of Zenith Dance Troupe that danced to Bollywood hits at the grand opening ceremony of HT GIFA. ( Manoj Verma/HT Photo )

The crowd was left spellbound when the divas of Zenithe Dance Troupe took to the stage once again to mesmerise everyone with their Bollywood dance performances, and were joined by, the Khiladi of Bollywood, actor Akshay Kumar on stage. The actor then went on to inspire children and parents with his words, and said, “I love that children are focusing their attention to physical sports and not just on video games. The support this amazing initiative by HT, promoting the sport of football and seeing parents support their kids, I feel great.”

Actor Akshay Kumar encourages Angad, a participant during the hula hoop challenge. ( Raajessh Kashyap/HT Photo )

The actor also engaged in a fun three-part challenge with four girls and four boys who were randomly from the crowd. In a girls vs boys competition, the teams of four took up the Toung Twister, Hoola Hoop and the Dizzy Ball Challenge, and it was the girls team that managed to bag a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh . Akshay Kumar also kicked six footballs around the stadium and every person who caught the balls was awarded a cash price of Rs 25,000 each. “It was a really well organized event. It’s great to see so much enthusiasm for a sport other than cricket. To top it all meeting Akshay kumar on stage and winning the cash prize just added to the excitement. It was a dream come true,” said Arshita Bhandari, a resident of Hauz Khas, who was also part of the winning team.

Actor Akshay Kumar and Emcee Rithvik Dhanjani announce the winners of the audience challenge. ( Raajessh Kashyap/HT Photo )

The grand night came to end with the unveiling of the HT GIFA Trophy by Akshay Kumar and other special guests on stage amidst a shower of confetti and fire displays. The teams now await the league matches that will commence on September 30.

Akshay Kumar unveiled the offical HTGIFA trophy amidst a shower of confetti and fire displays. ( Aditya Dogra/HT Photo )

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First Published: Sep 22, 2017 17:07 IST