First Sri Chinmoy Centre Sports Day

at Alley Pond Park in Jamaica, New York


During the mid-spring of 1970, Sri Chinmoy surprised his disciples by announcing the first Sports Day of the Centres, to be held on June 7.

Having excelled in athletic events during his Ashram years, Sri Chinmoy wanted his spiritual children also to experience the pure joy that friendly physical competition can offer.

In preparation for the great day, many disciples rediscovered forgotten muscles and reflexes — often painfully — as they practised running, shot-putting, and broad-jumping.

On June 7, the sun pierced through a threatening sky at the appointed hour of 3:30 p.m., mothers, fathers, little children and young adults gathered at a spacious park near the New York Centre to enter or watch the numerous matches pitting New York Centre against Connecticut Centre.

The New York team were expected to win, therefore Sri Chinmoy elected to compete with the Connecticut side to even the match. However, the Connecticut team triumphed over New York in an upset 71-47 victory.

Sri Chinmoy placed first in the discus and second in the shot put against a field of much younger competitors.

After the last point had been scored, all trooped to the picnic tables for a well-earned meal, vowing to begin their practice well in advance of next year’s Sports Day.

Adapted from an article first published on page 4 of Chinmoy Family, volume 1, number 2, Fall 1970


Photo by Bhashwar Hart


Sri Chinmoy honours Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand Olympic running coach, at Progress-Promise in Jamaica, Queens, New York.