District-level sports meet, organised by Karnataka State Government Employee’s Association, begins at Mangala Stadium in Mangalore

In front of a sparse gathering, the district-level sports meet of the government workers kicked off in the city on Friday.

The competition, organised by Karnataka State Government Employee’s Association, will see nearly 18 athletics events for men below the age of 45 years, seven events for men above 45 years of age, 13 events for women below the age of 40 years, seven for women above 45 years of age, wrestling competitions, six team sports competitions, swimming competitions in various categories and a ‘best physique’ competition, among others.

The events will be conducted at Mangala Stadium and Mangala swimming pool.

However, it seemed as if the number of listed events would be greater than the number of participants who showed up at the inaugural ceremony.

Commenting on the low turnout – with the number of participants barely exceeding 70 – MLA J.R. Lobo, who inaugurated the proceedings, jested that even among them many were aged and pot-bellied and only time would tell how many can participate in the events.

However, emphasising the importance of sports among government employees, as the exercise would benefit their “sedentary bodies”, the MLA said: “There are thousands of employees in the district, but hardly two per cent have shown up here.

“The games should be held on a holiday, and participation should be made compulsory.”

On Saturday, there will be a series of cultural competitions in categories including classical music, dance, light music, instrumental music and folk songs, among others.

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