May 292013

KARACHI: Pakistan’s first Beach Games, which will feature 1,000 participants from four zones of Karachi, will begin today at the Sea View.

It has been two years since a multi-sports event was held in the city with the last being the Sindh Games 2010 organised by the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA).

The Beach Games, a two-day event, will feature 26 disciplines with 19 male and seven female competitions.

According to the new SOA Secretary Mudassar Arain, the Beach Games have cost the association nearly Rs1.6 million, including allowance for players and other expenses.

“If the inaugural Beach Games go well, we will invite athletes from other cities of the country for it next year,” Arain told The Express Tribune. “Karachi hasn’t hosted a big event lately and this should break the ice. It’s also a great way to attract people to the sports since everyone in Karachi comes to the Sea View during summers.

“It’s also a perfect opportunity to revive sports culture in Karachi. Athletes from schools, colleges and different sports clubs have given us a positive feedback. We have kept participation open for everyone.”

The Games will feature four teams with the organisers having divided the athletes into East, West, Central and South zones.

The highlight of the first day will be marathon, cycling, archery, beach hockey, and tape-ball cricket events. Meanwhile, traditional sports including tug of war, malakhra and kabaddi will also start today.

The format of the Beach Games will be similar to that of the Sindh Games where the zone with the most gold medals and points will lift the trophy.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2013.

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