Para-athlete Huafrid Billimoria competes, completes and wins third place at Ironman 70.3 clocking in 7:07 hrs
Held in Dubai, Billimoria also ended the race with a podium finish, bagging the third place
Triathlete, Huafrid Billimoria is no stranger to setting records. A para athlete, Billimoria not only became the fastest Indian Ironman athlete with a disability to complete the race, but also ended with a podium finish, bagging the third place. Living with dystonia- a movement disorder, the 26-year-old athlete has never been discouraged by his disability. Taking up all challenges heads on he had a gruelling routine preparing for Ironman.
Training at Powerpeaks – The Athlete Lab, under Chaitanya Velhal , Billimoria and his guide for the race Omkar Jokar, were both forces to reckon with at the race. Infact, despite having a crash at 80 kms, and injuring his elbow and spraining his knew, he managed to finish the cycling part of the race as well as ran the full 21 km as Huafrid’s guide. The two of them finished the race in 07:07 hrs.
Iron Man reached is popularity in India when actor turned marathon runner Milind Soman won the race in 2017. Gaining momentum from there on, a bunch of athletes from across the country started preparing and gearing up for what is crowned as one of the toughest races of all time.
Set against the magnanimous 7-star Burj Al-Arab Hotel and Jumeirah beach, Ironman 70.3 kicked off on Saturday, March 12. As over 2500 athletes competed to not only attempt at winning but to also just finish the race, the event was a thrilling experience as always.
Till date, Powerpeaks- the city based athlete founded by Velhal, has helped more than 250 people achieve their dream of becoming Ironman and can boast of a 100 percent finisher record as well. This was the 3rd time that Powerpeaks has hosted an Ironman contingent representing India for the Ironman Dubai. The first visually impaired Indian to finish an IRONMAN 70.3 race and create history, Niket Dala is also an athlete from Powerpeaks.
Arzan Nagwaswalla is the definitely the most surprise pick in the Indian Test team.
Arzan was included as a standby player for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand and the five-Test series in England.
The 23 year old is the only active Parsi cricketer in the Indian domestic cricket circuit. And the left-arm pace bowler has an outside chance to become the first Parsi cricketer in the Indian men’s team after Farokh Engineer, the swashbuckler wicket-keeper-batsman who last played for India in 1975.
Former women;s captain Diana Edulji was the last Parsi player in the Indian team, with her last international appearance coming in an ODI in 1993.
Not being part of the IPL Arzan could not garner much attention. But the Gujarat fast bowler caught the selectors’ eye not only with his pace but also with his ability to pick wickets, having finished with 41 wickets last season with three five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul.
Arzan, who hails from the village of Nargal, close to the Maharashtra border — recalls how he had to travel around 350 km for his training in Ahmedabad in the initial days. In the village too, pursuing cricket was not easy as the players themselves had to roll the pitch and plan the practice sessions themselves.
It is no surprise that his role model is Pakistan’s pace bowling legend Wasim Akram.
After being named as the standby player in the Indian Test squad, Arzan Nagwaswalla spoke to Rediff.com‘s Harish Kotian on his journey in cricket so far.
Did you expect this call up?
Frankly speaking, I didn’t expect it so early. Obviously, you do expect to be picked in the Indian team, but…
When did you know of the selection?
Actually, the secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association had called me in the morning itself that ‘You might have to go to England so just be ready.’
That time I didn’t understand what he was talking about. So when I heard about the selection now, I understood what he was saying.
How did your family react?
I haven’t reached home yet. I am travelling and on my way home.
Are you excited to get to practice and hopefully play in England which has the best conditions for fast bowlers?
This is the first time I am travelling there so there is a lot of excitement. It feels like a dream come true to get a chance to travel with the Indian team.
You had a good season in domestic cricket last year, picking up 41 wickets in the 2019-2020 Ranji Trophy season with three five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul.
Tell us the improvements you made as a bowler in your second season.
There was not much of a difference in the last season. I was just focusing on the process whether it be bowling or in practice and the results are there for everyone to see.
What were the changes if you can point out in the second season that brought you success?
It was more of a mental aspect I would say in terms of how to approach a game, how to play and similar things.
So it was more of the mental side of things and other than that there were no any changes.
You played under Parthiv Patel who has a lot of experience and has taken Gujarat cricket to greater heights in the last few seasons. What was his advice to you?
He used to constantly tell me that ‘You are doing well so be ready as opportunity can come anytime.’
I was also focused on my game whether the opportunity comes or not, I just looked to give my best every time I went out to play.
IMAGE: Arzan with his parents. Photograph: BCCI
Did it also help a young player when you play in a successful team like Gujarat?
It was about the team environment, the bonding between the players. There was no biasness in the team, whether it was a senior player or junior player, everyone played together as one unit.
I think that is the main reason behind our success.
Our coach used to tell us that we should work as a team and focus more on the team goals rather than individual goals.
Who is your childhood coach?
My childhood coach is Kiran Tandel, who is a former player for Gujarat. He hails from my village Nargal (close to the Maharashtra border). In fact, he lives next to my house and he is also a fast bowler. So I learnt a lot of things from him.
Were things difficult for you at the start because you hail from a small village?
I used to training in my village in Nargal when I started off, but for the camp I had to travel to Ahmedabad which is 350
In Nargal village, we used to prepare the pitch and even today we work on the pitch and practice ourselves, we have to do everything.The travelling was a bit of struggle, but that was fine as it helped me improve.
The training in Ahmedabad helped me work with good coaches and they helped rectify the errors in my bowling and that played a big part in my development.
Along with getting picked for India, playing in the IPL is the next big target for all Indian domestic players. You did well in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament with nine wickets from five games but were not picked in the IPL even though were part of it as the nets bowlers for the Mumbai Indians. Were you disappointed?
In the last one year, there was not much of domestic cricket. How did you stay in touch with the game?
We had a few camps in Ahmedabad so there we got a chance to practice and improve our skills. The physical training part, we were doing at home and the cricketing part we practiced in Ahmedabad.
As we prepare to celebrate the Nowruz 1400, the Zoroastrian Youth of North America (ZYNA) a FEZANA Committee; is taking on an endeavor to create an pictorial timestamp and archive of our Zoroastrian diaspora in North America and around the world through a project called the Zoroastrian Faces of 1400.
Through this project, we’re hoping to collect pictures of Zarathushtis and their families from around the world and combine them into a video and/or living webpage that will serve as a strong memory point for the turn of the century.
OUR ASK OF YOU
Please submit your picture(s) by Wednesday, March 10th, at the link below
Jehan Daruvala creates history, becomes first Indian to win an Formula 2 race
Jehan Daruvala emerged on top in the support race of the season-ending Formula 1 Grand Prix after a thrilling battle against F2 champion Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ticktum
Jehan Daruvala created history when he became the first Indian to win a Formula 2 race during the Sakhir Grand Prix on Sunday.
A thrilling battle against F2 champion Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ticktum saw the 22-year-old Indian emerge on top in the support race of the season-ending Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Jehan, driving for Rayo Racing, had a good launch from second on the grid and was up alongside pole sitter Daniel Ticktum.
Ticktum squeezed Jehan on the inside which allowed Schumacher to go around the outside of both of them.
Eventually, Ticktum emerged in the lead, followed by Schumacher and Jehan in third. A few corners later, Jehan made a good move to pass Schumacher and get into second position.
A few laps later, Schumacher passed Jehan, to relegate him to third.
Jehan, however, did not give up. A thrilling battled ensued and eventually the Indian got past Schumacher once again, to reclaim his second spot.
Jehan then reeled off a series of quick laps to catch the race leader. However, he was unable to overtake.
The battle for the lead intensified as Ticktum seemed desperate to win the last race of the season.
Jehan, however, kept his cool and maintained the pressure. His excellent race craft forced the race leader to start making mistakes, but Jehan found it tough to get past Ticktum.
Eventually with less than 10 laps to go, Jehan made another fantastic move to get past Ticktum and grab the lead.
Thereafter, Jehan drove well to slowly start opening up a gap and finally took the chequered flag to win his maiden FIA Formula 2 race.
His Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda was second, over 3.5 seconds behind Jehan, while Ticktum was third.
“Motorsport is pretty big in India. We obviously have a lot of people, so I have a big fan base back home, and my goal at the end of the day is to do myself and my country proud.
“(I have) to prove to people from back home that even though we don’t have the same facilities and stuff that guys have in Europe, as long as you can work hard you can fight right at the sharp end of the grid,” Jehan said.
The Zoroastrian Cricket Club in Toronto has decided to start playing league T20 cricket again after an 8 year gap in play. The club started playing 50 over cricket and was formed in 1978 by a group of cricket loving Parsee immigrants that came to Canada from India and Pakistan. It ran successfully for many years in a local league but in 2013 the club folded due to a lack of interest amongst newer Zoroastrians.
However, in recent years the OZCF (Ontario Zoroastrian Community Foundation) field was transformed to include a cricket pitch and it renewed interest amongst the Parsee community! For the past two years the team has played inter friendly matches and have occasionally invited other teams to play as well. Due to the creation of the new agiary, the OZCF ground is not available for the upcoming season. The club has decided to join Mississauga Cricket League, and would like to introduce and include more youngsters to the game in a healthy community atmosphere with proper coaching by ex national team players. So if you have kids that want to learn sports and have fun in an all Parsee community setting or if you want to join yourself please contact Khushroo Wadia at email@example.com. The club appreciates your support and enthusiasm and thanks the many former members who still donate generously to keep up equipment and help pay for the league costs, balls, and umpire fees. What a truly wonderful community we have. Come and be a part of it!
The OZCF Sports committee are excited to bring to you their first Virtual Run/Walkfundraiser.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not allowed the OZCF to have in-person events, therefore we are holding this Virtual event.
*This is one event ‘WE DO NOT WISH TO SEE YOU IN-PERSON’*
Please follow the guidelines below:
1. Register by paying $20
2. Starts October 23rd and ends October 31st, 2020
3. Please pay attention to the current COVID-19 regulations in your area
4. Take pictures and videos of your Run/Walk and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org 905-808-2827 with your full name and area (i.e. Xarius Jasavala, Oakville, ON).
5. You can track your distance with a running/walking app such as ‘Strava‘ or running/walking watch or treadmill display.
After you have completed your Run/Walk, please take a picture/screenshot of your running app/watch/treadmill showing your distance & send to us.
Take a picture of yourself having completed the 5km.
While we realize that it may not be possible for all participants to complete 5km, we encourage you to participate, keep fit and complete however many km you can.
We wish to have fun with this, so please do send in periodic Pictures/Videos of your participation in this first Virtual Run/Walk.
We will be posting these on our website & social media platforms.
We would like as many people to participate (young and old), from all over the world; stay fit, stay safe, have fun !
** You can take this further and get sponsors from friends and family by asking people to hit the OZCF Donation option from the website or click HERE
This series of articles aims to provide an insight into the profiles of the individuals who will be organising the 2023 8th World Zoroastrian Youth Congress (8WZYC). Each article will detail how the organisers are trying to inspire and motivate the future generation of young Zoroastrians. We hope that these profiles will provide our readers with an insightful perspective into the lives and visions of the 2023 8WZYC organising volunteers.
This first article highlights the journey of the two congress Co-Chairs and how they use their voice to represent the community and add value to bring about progressive change through a communal voice.
Sheherazad F Kapadia and Sanaya Khambatta are both from London, England and are together chairing the 2023 8WZYC. In 2019, they started serving the UK Young Zoroastrian (YZ) committee as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively; and are committed to representing the voice and views of young Zoroastrians in the UK.
Sheherazad & Sanaya at Sanaya’s 18th Birthday
Both Sheherazad and Sanaya come from Zoroastrian families who have been strongly involved in serving their Zoroastrian communities. In the past, Sheherazad’s father was the Treasurer in the 1997 2WZYC and her mother was a teacher for the UK Zoroastrian Children’s Fun Club. Sanaya’s family has been prominent in the Delhi Parsi community and several charitable causes. As a result of their family’s extensive communal involvement, Sheherazad and Sanaya have both been actively involved in the Zoroastrian community, from a very young age.
In this article, they hope to shine a light on their journey in representing the YZ community and planning the 2023 8WZYC.
Why do you wish to be involved in the community?
Sheherazad – At age 10, my family and I moved to the Middle East, which seemed like a scary decision at the time. We never thought we would find a Zoroastrian community as vibrant and loving as our London group. However, looking back, it may have been the best choice my parents ever made! Within the first month of moving, my family and I were introduced to a group of expatriate Zoroastrians who called themselves, the ‘Abu Dhabi Bawa Gang’. From then on, we enjoyed communal weekly dinners, outings and celebrations. The Bawa Gang taught me a lot – most importantly that no matter where I go, what I do, or how scared I become of the future, our Zoroastrian community and faith will always be there for me.
The moment I returned to London for higher studies, I felt a sense of responsibility to give back to my Zoroastrian roots and so I joined the YZ committee. Beyond that, I truly hope that through the 8WZYC, I can provide a platform for our Zoroastrian youth across the globe, to build a sense of belonging, empathy and a voice. Afterall, a community that cares, is a community that makes for a brighter tomorrow.
Sanaya – Growing up, my family always ensured that I had a strong sense of community and try to follow the three tenants of the religion- Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds. As a result, I always had Zoroastrian friends and engaged with them socially on a regular basis as well as attended Zoroastrian classes from an early age to learn about my religion and these tenants. Through this, I felt an innate sense of belonging which helped to shape my identity and allowed me to understand more about our religion overall. I have always been a proud Zoroastrian and my motivation for my involvement with the main YZs is that I want others to feel the same way I did growing up. I want them to have a sense of community, to meet other like-minded individuals and make and share experiences with them and to follow the religion, not because they have to but because they want to.
What do you think you can bring to the table in terms of co-chairing the 2023 8WZYC in United Kingdom?
Sanaya – Both Sheherazad and I come from different backgrounds – whether that be career, academic or our extra-curricular activities we participate in. However, it is this differentiating outlook that will benefit us greatly as we embark upon our journey in co-chairing the 2023 8WZYC in United Kingdom. We both examine a problem or task from a unique perspective and work on collaborating together to provide the best course of action that benefits our community, peers and the project at hand. We have grown up together and over the years have come to mutually understand how the other thinks, their strengths and we plan on using these attributes to our full advantage when working with others and each other. We are confident where our area of expertise lies and understand when to delegate or ask for help from each other if faced with something that we are unsure about. We both believe communication and transparency is key in working with one another and a passion for what we are doing – which we have in abundance!
How do you overcome representing a community and not just your own viewpoint?
Sheherazad – For us, having a communal voice is essential to good leadership. Often today, we see world leaders who bring their personal agenda in politics- which tends to only create more divide.
Having a communal voice does not just mean representing the views of others, it means accepting that sometimes your ideas or opinions will not be followed and you will have to implement a different ideology. Whilst at times this can seem hard, we always remind ourselves of the wider goal that we are working towards and that by listening and considering other points of views, we can create a more inclusive and empowered community.
Sanaya and I have both always been guided to show kindness in our actions. We both believe that when taking on a role of leadership, whether it be; captaining your high school sports team or starting up an enterprise, being openminded and respecting the opinions of all those around you, especially those who you represent will always be a huge asset towards the success of your endeavours.
Sheherazad & Sanaya at Sanaya’s 18th Birthday
What is the value of having a female based committee and acting co-chairs?
Sheherazad – The young Zoroastrian community in the UK has a vibrant atmosphere, and I am both proud and grateful to say that having women in leadership positions is not a rare occurrence in the UK YZ community. I truly feel that having a congress committee that is made up of so many wonderful and accomplished young women is essential and will showcase how we are paving the way to a more equitable society. Sanaya and I firmly believe that with the equality and empowerment of women, we will achieve a stronger future for our community as well as our religion.
What do we hope the Zoroastrian youth will look like on a global scale?
Sanaya – Looking to the future of the global Zoroastrian youth, we hope that individuals will continue wanting to follow the Zoroastrian faith and be part of the global Zoroastrian community – through attendance at events such as youth congresses and world congresses.
This can develop one’s spiritual and emotional connection with the religion as well as their peers, and allow individuals to see us as a unified global community rather than simply a religion that they ‘have’ to follow. We wish for the YZ community to advance and slowly start tackling progressive issues that we face, not only within the religion, but in society too and to evolve to be respectful and inclusive of all.
We hope our answers have provided you with an insight into us as individuals, as well as our views for the progression of the 2023 8WZYC in London, UK. If you have any questions to be addressed in future articles please email them to 8WZYC@ztfe.com and we will be happy to respond.
Sheherazd F. Kapadia
Chair – Young Zoroastrian’s of the UK,
Co-Chair – 2023 8th Zoroastrian World Youth Congress (London, United Kingdom)
Occupational Therapy Student/Assistant Therapist
Sanaya Khambatta Vice Chair – Young Zoroastrian’s of the UK
Co-Chair – 2023 8th Zoroastrian World Youth Congress (London, United Kingdom)
Technical Consultant at IBM