Indian sportswomen have made us proud with their achievement yet again. The kho-kho team has won the Asian Kho-Kho championship which was held in Indore by defeating Bangladesh in the finals. And the most glorious part of this victory was that the team was undefeated throughout the tournament. In other words, they did not lose even a single match! They shared the laurels with the men’s team which also emerged victorious in the tournament. [Feature Image Courtesy: hindustantimes]
Their victory was greeted with appreciation from various quarters.
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted this:
Minister of Education for Maharashtra, Vinod Tawde also tweeted:
Team captain Sarika Kale won the best player award, and with it a cash prize of Rs.51000. Neighbours Bangladesh were runner ups while our other neighbour Nepal ended up in the third place. This is the third time that a formalized championship for the sport has been held in the continent. The first match was held in Kolkata in 1996, while the second took place in Dhaka in the year 2000. Participating countries included India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan Sri Lanka, Malaysia and South Korea.
Kho-kho is the second most popular traditional game in South Asia, after Kabaddi. However, such scantily placed tournaments are not encouraging for good players since they do not get the opportunity to compete internationally in their productive career life. As a result the number of sportspersons willing to join the sport is lesser, and this lack of competition among players means an overall lowering of the quality of players in the sport. Taking the thought forward that kho-kho deserves much more attention as a sport, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had to say (cricketcountry):
“I have myself been a kho-kho player as a child and I want this sport to develop. Earthy sports like kho-kho and kabaddi are our own sports and it is important that we promote what is inherently ours. Besides, these sports also help the youth in channelising their energy.”
The fact is that indigenous sports do deserve more attention and encouragement, from the government and sponsors alike. Kabaddi already has been taken to the next level with the pro-kabaddi league. Maybe with wins like these, kho-kho might also catch the fancy of sponsors. Until that happens though, we need to at least cheer loudly for our teams who excel in inspite of the odds.