Dodgeball and sports culture

Qudsia Raja

The writer is Pakistan’s first female tennis umpire.

Alpha College recently held the National Dodgeball Championship 2021. The best thing about the event is that it was organised by an educational institution. The main goal was to provide school and college students information about a sport that not only keeps you physically fit but also sharpens your mental abilities.

Interestingly, I was unable to attend the championship but my students and other observers told it was it was a great tournament and well-organised event. I must congratulate Alpha College for making this event a success as the students learned a lot. This championship may be over but it’s not the end. It is only a matter of time before we learn about the interest and curiosity it has developed in children.

It is rather unfortunate, indeed a tragedy, that a sports culture is not common in our country. We need to promote a vibrant sports culture which is not related to any particular sport.

I remember how we used to play dodgeball as a child but it is now being played with great enthusiasm in schools. Yes, what we used to call ‘Maram Pitti’ in our childhood has now developed into a full-fledged sport today called Dodgeball. It is a good thing that the younger generation has formed a sport that develops their mental skills and also keeps them fit physically active.

Alpha College National Dodgeball Championship 2021 had eight men’s and four women’s teams. Each team consists of 8 players, 2 reserves, and other officials. It was a matter of great pleasure that for the first time, mixed teams also participated in the event. The Sindh government’s sports department had organised the event. The chief guest at the inauguration was Secretary Sports, while Governor Sindh attended the closing ceremony. However, it was rather disappointing to note that neither showed any interest in the development of this sport.

The government of Sindh can show the youth the way forward by sponsoring sports activities in educational institutions. It should regularly organise sports in schools, colleges and universities to develop interest and enthusiasm. To truly promote a sports culture, the government needs to hold tournaments in public educational institutes. We often tend to blame others and rather than waiting for the sports board, the government should hold sporting events in educational institutions. Every institution should play its role and many problems will be solved.

The Director Sports of Alpha College and his entire team deserve a round of applause for hosting the event. They have taken a positive step to promote the sports culture which will benefit their own students and even players from other areas. There will be ample opportunities to learn, grow and showcase their skills. Eventually, educational institutions will hold sports competitions on their own grounds to help build a better society that values sports.

I would request the government of Sindh to hold sports championships in educational institutions. My message for children is that sports improve your mental and physical health. The more you participate in sports, the more the frustration inside you will be reduced. It will develop tolerance and endurance in your life. My best wishes are with all the players, sports organisers and the young generation.

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