Report by our correspondent, Photo credit: Zaheer Bari and Irfan Bari
Local level competitions under the Josh Games 2013 kicked off in Gojal on Thursday at the Gulmit Polo Ground, our correspondent reported. President Ismaili Local Council for Gulmit, Mr. Nazir Ahmed, inaugurated 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.
AKRSP’s Youth Development Specialist, Mr. Aejaz Karim, was guest of the session. While addressing the session, he 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.
Under the local level games opened in Gulmit, young players – both men and women- from across Hunza showcased their skills and strengths through a number of games, including javelin throw, race, high jump and long jump. Activities under the regional level event will start tomorrow in Gulmit and several other places across Hunza.
It is pertinent to mention here that Josh Games has already taken a number of the talented players from GB to the national and international prominence. Rahim Ullah Baig and Diana Baig, who moved up to national and international prominence Games, are two examples of the products of the Josh Games.
Being a brand of AKYSB, the Josh Games has garnered not only national, but also international attention. AKYSB has been organizing the event every year since its start. According to the organizers, 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:
- Team events
- Individual events
- Table tennis
- Track events
- High and long jump
- Javelin throw and shot put