Panthallur Meridian Public School students take part in an indigenous sports fete

The Meridian Public School at Panthallur, near Manjeri, in the district on Wednesday organised an indigenous sports festival, evoking curiosity among the local people as well as the schools in the neighbourhood.

The indigenous sports fest, held as part of the National Sports Day being celebrated on Thursday, turned out to be a unique event, attempting to revive some of the old games played in the rural areas of the district.

Bemused spectators stood agape as the children from different schools displayed great enthusiasm to prove that they too were adept at some of the games their grandfathers played.

They competed in marble ball games, hopscotch, games with clay tile pieces, pulling games using arecanut leaves, and jugglery with machinga or tiny coconut. “Most of these games have disappeared from our rural areas,” said school principal K. Abdu Rasheed.

The physical education wing of the school took the initiative for the festival as part of reviving these obsolescent games.

Akash Madhavan, who won two medals in the recent World Dwarf Games held in Michigan, U.S., gave away the prizes to the winners. He said that athletes and sportspersons were being given a lot more encouragement in western countries than in India. “What we dwarfs need is nothing but your encouragement, and not sympathy,” he said.

Mr. Rasheed presided. School chairman M.P. Kunhalavi Haji, Parent-Teacher Association president K.P. Aboobacker, and others spoke. Staff secretary Akbar Ali welcomed the gathering.

School captain Shanas Hussain proposed a vote of thanks.

The host school became overall champions of the meet. Ace Public School, Manjeri, won the second position and Government AUP School, Panthallur, won the third prize.

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