June 26, 2010

Traditional sports competitions attract massive crowds


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

After having successfully organized the 13th edition of the Sindh Games in Karachi earlier this month the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs of the Government of Sindh kept up the momentum by promoting the traditional sports as a part of the birth anniversary celebrations of Benazir Bhutto, a former Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Sindh Sports Board (SSB), an organ of the provincial Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs, staged competitions of wanjwatti, kodi kodi and malakhro on June 22 in Karachi and Tando Mohammad Khan.

Handsome cash prizes were disbursed among the outstanding performers of all the three events and the presentation ceremony was held immediately after the conclusion of the one-day tournament. Karachi hosted wanjwatti and malalkro events while Tando Mohammad Khan was the venue of the kodi kodi contest.

Wanjwatti, kodi kodi and malakhro happen to be the most popular sports in the interior of Sindh as a result of which all of them have remained a part and parcel of the Sindh Games since its inception in 1986.

While the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) has struggled for survival over the years due to a combination of factors, the provincial government has taken interest from time to time to bridge the gap and keep the sporting spirit alive.

The initiatives of the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs of the Government of Sindh in the recent past have given a new lease of life to all kind of sports activities and the duo of Sindh Sports Minister, Dr Mohammad Ali Shah and the departmental Secretary, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, has made things happen at a much faster pace than ever before.

Their strategy is activity-based and they desire to develop sports from every angle and in every nook and corner of the province. Be it an Olympic sport or a non-Olympic one they have set their sights on generating activity round the year to keep the youth engaged in healthy environment.

One of the areas of focus of the present regime is the traditional sports having witnessed plenty of activity of late. Dr Shah and Shoaib Siddiqui seem to have realized the importance of the games that bring joys to the hearts and minds of the people.

It’s indeed a great idea to promote the traditional sports in a big way. They my not make the headlines in the newspapers or create a breaking news on television channels but the development of the games like wanjwatti, kodi kodi and malakhro is a huge service to the society.

The grounds wear festive look whenever such events are held in any part of the province. Be it the beach of Karachi or a stadium in Jacobabad the traditional sports tournaments attract and thrill the spectators.

Indeed these games are quite a spectacle and a way of life to many. The action brings to life the whole locality and the festivities enchant the area population. It’s such a pleasing sight to watch the crowd so much involved in the game.


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