While not busy prepping the next batch of lawyers for the country, the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) students keep themselves busy honing their skills in extra-curricular activities. Among them, the creatively-named Justice League, which is a dedicated sports fest of the celebrated law college where young sporting enthusiasts from the top universities of the nation assemble to foster the spirit of sportsmanship and healthy competition, ranks high. Boasting of a wide pool of events – both popular, as well as the lesser recognized, the Justice League, has come a long away in being just and including an extensive range of sports. Currently, in its 6th edition of the mega inter-college fest, the Justice League will be held over four days, from the 20th to the 23rd February, inside the sprawling GNLU campus at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Born in 2003 under the GNLU Act, the institution has been fully functional since 2004. About a decade into producing the best lawyers of the nation, the GNLU Sports Committee decided to organize the Justice League in 2014. Ever since it has been a journey that has seen this one of a kind sports fest grow in leaps and bounds. Easily attracting the best colleges in India, the Justice League has seen the keen participation of Jindal Global University, IIT Gandhinagar, NIFT Gandhinagar, NLU Jodhpur and even international participation from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
The sole idea behind hosting a sports festival is to ensure the spirit of sportsmanship is never lost. Considering the diversity GNLU sees in its student body, with aspiring lawyers from all across the nation assimilating in one place, the need for sports to act as a medium of unifying the different cultures present, was of primary importance. Sports does not require a language as it makes do with its very own, where it is the scoreboard that has the last say on everything. The Justice League is an initiative to champion this cause and promote the sporting culture among the youth who is the future for tomorrow.
Covering an extensive range of sports starting from the usual fare of Cricket, Football, Tennis, Basketball, Swimming, Kabaddi, Badminton, Table Tennis, Athletics, the Justice League has gone on to include lesser recognized sports like 8-Ball Pool, Carrom, Chess, Volleyball, Throwball and quite uniquely, even Skating, as a part of its competitive events.
In fact, a former national champion from skating, Devanshi Dalal was a student of GNLU and played an instrumental role in ensuring the inclusion of such a great variety of sports. “We’ve introduced so many sports with roller skating being one of them which is not part of other sports fests of other universities. We have a lot of other games also which are less recognized sports, to bring them recognition. It’s done so that people are motivated to participate and continue in their respective sports,” Dalal stressed raptly.
Taking to her roller skates when she was all of 4 years old, Devanshi has been winning medals at the National, State levels and has even gone on to participate in 2 Asian championships, ranking fourth and fifth, on those occasions. The former World No. 21 in skating, the GNLU student has 96 medals to her name and has been a dedicated force in organizing the much-sought-after Skating competition at the Justice League. Although Dalal regrets not being able to participate as she always had her hands full organizing it, she remembers how the spirit of the fest is, “It’s always been great because the atmosphere is very energetic with so many colleges and participants,” she exclaimed.
Mostly invited as a judge now, Dalal was full of enthusiasm for the fest she has seen being born, “The most important thing is to have fun. Sports is all about that, more than anything else. I would like to wish everyone all the best…Competition is great but it is important to have fun and play with a sportsman spirit and with the right ethics,” she advised before the February 20 event kicks off.
The Justice League has indeed come a long way and over the years, the participation count has also increased. Earlier, it would see around 1500 participants over the 4 days but the count has exponentially increased and the 6th edition is eyeing to touch the 3000 mark. With esteemed sports personalities like Dhanraj Pillay and Amiesh Saheba having graced the previous editions, the Justice League can easily boast of being one of the most well-curated and loved sports fest in the country, mostly attracting the youth aged between 17 to 25.
Former athletics team captain at GNLU and currently a practising lawyer in New Delhi, Chandan Malav from the 2017 batch has also been there to witness the birth of Justice League and watch it grow over the years. Reminiscing on those days, Malav says, “When we started, it wasn’t as big and magnanimous as it is now. We didn’t have the facilities that the kids have these days. We had a single ground and in that ground, we conducted the football, cricket, and athletic events. We didn’t have a lot of logistics support. The participation was also quite low when we started,” he explained.
The specialist at 100 meters run, Malav always secured the gold medal in it during his years at GNLU. He remembers those days fondly and relays to the excited participants ahead of the Justice League, “They shouldn’t really think about the result. My message is especially to the teams of GNLU that they should give their 100 per cent while preparing for the event. Maybe not think about what will happen in the match or the final event. They should focus on the training part and enjoy themselves properly.”
The Justice League is indeed a great effort by the students of GNLU and the Sports Committee to use the spirit of sports as a binder among the youth hailing from various colleges of the country. The 4-day gala fest promises a lot of heated sporting action, with as many as 15 events to be conducted over the span of 20th to 23rd Feb. Aspiring to soar higher skies, the 6th edition of the Justice League is well en route to charting its own success story, as it presents itself bigger and better than ever before.