The long-awaited Josh Games 2013 kicked off on Sunday at the Shah Karim hostel’s ground in Gilgit, reports said. Prominent scholar Mr. Fida Ali lit the 2013 Josh Games torch to inaugurate the event, which has grown popular among the youth over the years since its inception by the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board (AKYSB) in 2008.
The event’s Chief Guest Col. (Retd.) Ubaid Ullah said AKYSB has provided a good platform for the youth to get involved in healthy sporting activities and represent Gilgit-Baltistan at the national and international level. He also said Josh Games has promoted the talented players of GB to the national and international levels, while making a reference to Rahim Ullah Baig and Diana Baig, who rose to prominence from the Josh Games.
Being a brand of AKYSB, the Josh Games has garnered not only national, but also international prominence. AKYSB has been organizing the event every year since its start. According to the organizers, the Josh Games is intended to develop and promote cultural diversity, pluralism, teamwork and leadership among the participants.
According to the AKYSB, the Josh Games start at the local level, where players and teams cast their talents to get selected for the regional Josh Games. Teams and individual players who come out winner in the regional level games grab the opportunity to participate in the national Josh Games. And finally, those teams and individual players who come out victors at the national level go all the way to play at the international level.
The participants from Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, including Ghizer, Gilgit, Hunza and Chitral, represent their regions in the games. Players – male and female, young and senior citizens and special persons– get the opportunity to show the world their strength, sports skills and talents.
Commentators say that the AKYSB also offers a great opportunity for the young men and women through Josh Games. Young people from different cultures and backgrounds mingle with each other and showcase sportsman spirit and unity. Moreover, AKYSB encourages responsible citizenship, participation in civic activities and cultivating leadership qualities amongst the youth.
The AKYSB has so far organized large sports events at the national and international level, such as the Josh Games in Africa, North America, Europe and South Asia. Josh Games include a large assortment of sporting activities, such as cricket, football, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and athletics.
Reports say that the 2013 Josh Games includes the following sports:
The games have been broken up in the following three major categories:
- Team events
- Traditional volleyball
- Tug of war
- Individual events
- Table tennis
- Track events
- High and long jump
- Javelin throw and shot put