"An old man bending a tightly knotted set of iron rods together and squeezing his body through them! A true feat of rural strength... His head is the last to get through and seems the roughest to get past the tightly knotted iron rods!
The Qila Raipur Sport Festival is a 72 year old institution. More popularly known as the Rural Olympics of Punjab, they are held in February each year. The Grewal Sport Stadium in Qila Raipur comes alive as hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators make a beeline for this community, only a short distance from Ludhiana.Quila Raipur Games are a symbol of rural and countryside people's strength, determination, Sportmanship, energy, force and power. About 70 per cent of population lives in villages. It becomes natural for this sturdy community to have its own rural games.This particular game requires great amount of strength to put a rod over the body but this gives the games uniqueness.
According to the Rural Olympics website:
It was in 1933. Philanthropist Inder Singh Grewal visualised an annual recreational meet where farmers from areas surrounding Kila Raipur could get together and test their corporal endurance. The idea gave birth to Kila Raipur Sport, the undisputed ""Rural Olympics"".
In over six decades the festival has grown from a toddler to a prancing, energetic youthful organisation. This pioneer rural Sport festival has become an annual international event, which is normally held in the first weekend of February. A dynamic team of organisers -- Grewal Sport Association -- has taken yet again another pioneering step of giving rural women a break in Sport.
Today this festival of the rustics attracts more than 4,000 Sportmen and women, both of recognised and traditional Sport. The three-day festival is witnessed by more than a million people. Besides, several million others watch it on television, read about it in newspapers and magazines.
Whether you are in Punjab or in Toronto or in Southall, you will know the latest about Kila Raipur Sport. Its participants come from all over the globe. Since it takes several months for the immigrants in England, Canada or the USA to select, train and send their Kabbadi and Tug of War teams to this festival which of late has become a truly international, talks about destination KILA RAIPUR start much early.
When Mr. Inder Singh Grewal and subsequently Grewal Sport Association visualised the Games, the solitary aim was, ""healthy mind in a healthy body"", the watchword has been ""excellence"", in accordance with the Olympic motto of ""CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS"". Besides, it was to provide a platform where boys and girls, men and even veterans could come and exhibit their acumen not only in recognised Sporting events but also in traditional rural Sport.
So it has been always the best. Those who have been watching this festival grow from year to year can vouch that they have seen hundreds of Olympians and internationals in action on the bald but even playfields of perhaps the biggest Rural Sport Stadium in the country.
For the Grewal Sport Association, it is not only the annual Rural Olympics but also Sport promotion which gets its paramount attention. The Association sponsors and runs a hockey academy for schoolboys. At present 150 budding hockey stars are training at the Academy on a regular basis -- 125 of them are day boarders and 25 are boarders.
The Association plans to extend the stadium further, construct a new modern hostel for the Academy, start another academy in track and field and lay a synthetic surface for hockey. Kila Raipur and surrounding villages have made a matchless contribution to the national mainstream of Sport in almost all major recognised Sport.
These activities apart, Grewal Sport Association enjoy the proud privilege of being the pioneer of organised ""Rural Sport"" in the country. It is perhaps the only meet which attracts sponsors from multinational companies and where prize money attracts the best of Sportmen and women. The organisers are none other than dedicated, qualified and reputed men who have spent their youthful days on playfields of the village. No other rural Sport meet can even come near the Kila Raipur Sport, either in organisation or in size. It remains the biggest and the most prestigious one of its type.
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