Rural Olympics, a major draw for sports lovers in Punjab

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Qila Raipur (Punjab), Feb 19 (ANI): Thousands of sportsmen and dare-devil performers have converged for four days in Qila Raipur village in Punjab to participate in a unique sports event, popularly known as the "Rural Olympics".

The "Rural Olympics"drew villagers from across northern India and many of the Indian diaspora, keeping alive traditional sports and attracting youth towards physical activities.

The Rural Olympics consist of 40 to 50 events and are a blend of accepted sporting disciplines and other more uncommon pursuits.

The competitions feature a wide variety of rural games like tug-of-war, horse races, horse dance, bullock-cart races and cock fighting.

"Our main attraction is the bullock-cart race. It is very famous. As for other events, there is kabaddi, horse-riding, camel race, tractor race, hockey, a tug-of-war. There are many other attractions as well. There are various performances and it is a 24-hour complete entertainment," said Gurvinder Singh Grewal, organiser.

Over the years, the games have not only gained popularity in India but have also attracted people from abroad as well.

The first Rural Olympics was held in Kila Raipur in 1933. Since then, it is organised every year by the local Grewal Sports Club.

The club also organises a community kitchen for the players and spectators.

Much of the allure of the Rural Olympics lies in the traditional forms of contest and in the ability to compete in events where no specific skills are required. (ANI)

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