The International Council for Traditional Sports and Games (ICTSG) will celebrate 14th August as ‘International Day for Traditional Sports and Games’ across the globe, this was revealed by ICTSG President Khalil Ahmed Khan.
Talking to The Nation, Khalil Khan, who was elected as Ex Officio President of ICTSG being the Chairman of UNESCO Advisory Committee on TSG during the fourth collective consultation held in Istanbul, Turkey on August 14, 2018, said: “ICTSG and Member States through their respective ministries after having Consultation Meetings agreed to enhance the diffusion of TSG knowledge and declared 14th August as ‘International Day of Traditional Sports And Games’.
“We have also extended Invitations to Ministers and Ambassadors of Member States for the World Ministerial Conference on the eve of International Day of TSG that will be held on 14 and 15 August 2021. The World Ministerial Conference is likely to be participated by more than 85 countries around the globe as per registration till the filing of this report including UN, UNESCO and many other UN agencies. The organizers have extended it over two days due to the overwhelming response by the member states.
“In the wake of the Covid virus, we are organizing an ‘International Traditional Sports and Games Day 2021’ for the first time virtually. This is a worldwide event, celebrating the diversity and the culture of the locals helping them secure their traditions. The games also would help boost tourism, local traditions, and culture of the host country,” he asserted.
Explaining the purpose and aims of the council, Khalil Khan said: “The ICTSG is the official umbrella organization for all traditional sports and indigenous games, as well as organizers oftraditional sports games and sport-related international associations. It also facilitates the understanding of Traditional Sports and Games (TSG) in terms of cultural identity and diversity. It gives exposure to opportunities that mainstream sports can’t provide.”
The president of international body further revealed that ICTSG has chalked out a comprehensive roadmap in order to preserve and promote the cultural importance of traditional sports and games. “To this end, the ICTSG wishes to include members of all facets in the creation of vast group of supporters who are passionate about the mission to protect, preserve, diffusion of education and promote traditional sports and games. International initiatives to move forward and build momentum on TSG also demonstrate a positive environment, and provide an international context for joint efforts to share a common vision in the protection and promotion of TSG.”
Khalil Khan has said that UNESCO is backing traditional sports and games to expand intercultural awareness, making geographically distant cultures more reachable, enable youth development and advance ethical sports practices. “This fits into UNESCO’s goal of building peace, eradicating poverty, and promoting sustainable development alongside giving a flavor of the different cultures across the globe.”
The ICTSG chief further revealed that Pakistan has agreed to host to the first ever International Traditional Sports and Games Event in Gwadar next year. “The holding of such a mega event in Gwadar will help the country promote traditional sports as well as tourism as people of different countries and cultures will come to participate in the event and this will provide the locals opportunities to highlight their culture, tradition and rich heritage in front of them. Hopefully, Prime Minister Imran Khan will look into this matter and direct the concerned authorities to speed up their preparations for hosting such a mega event in a befitting manner.”
Khalil Khan also wished to help his motherland in establishing the headquarters of the international body in Pakistan. “Being a first president of ICTSG, it is my wish that I may help my country in establishing the Headquarters of ICTSG in Pakistan. It will surely help in improving socio-economic development, cultural heritage promotion and above all tourism in Pakistan. Future belongs to TSG.”