The first edition of the Cochin Open Professional Goti Tournament saw an enthusiastic response toward the game

Earlier this week, the courtyard of a hotel in Kochi was witness to a unique event. The occasion was the first ever Cochin Open Professional Goti Tournament, organised by Synergians, an outfit of young management professionals based in Kochi. Goti is a finger game played with marbles and has streaks of old-world charm and nostalgia attached to it.

Why a Goti tournament and that too at a time when people are after Playstations and virtual games? “Most of our childhood hobbies involved physical exertion and these contributed to our general well being. And through the Goti tournament, we are embarking on a mission to re-launch many such time honoured leisure games among the young generation,” reveals a beaming Sijin, president of Synergians.

The first edition of the professional Goti tournament saw as many as 40 enthusiasts from the city and the neighbouring districts participating in the day-long event. And the fact that the maiden tourney of the fun-filled finger game had many takers, from 18-year old Devika, a college student, to 74-year old Joseph, a retired government official, was indicative of its undying spirit and popularity among Kochiites. To impart a professional touch, apart from adopting Classic Kerala and World Marbles styles in the tournament, the organisers also introduced a set of well-defined rules, etiquette, game terminology and dress code.

“Goti used to be one of my regular childhood activities which I used to play with my brothers and I am still good at it,” says Sherin Stephin, a bank executive, who won the women’s title. “Though the finger style was different here, I easily adapted to it with a little bit of practice,” she says with a smile. In the men’s category it was Boban who walked away with the championship.

Inspired by the Kochi lap, Synergians is all set to come up with a similar event at Thiruvananthapuram and is also planning to revitalise similar outdoor games such as hopscotch, kabaddi, kuttiyum kolum and nadan panthukali in the near future. Making a strategic move, they have termed these games as ‘heritage sports’.