RAWALPINDI: The City District Government Rawalpindi has received directives from Punjab government to revive wrestling by providing facilities in educational institutions and Liaquat Bagh sports complex.
Officials said the provincial government had also directed the CDGR to revive `Akharas` (traditional wrestling mats). They said special seats would be announced for wrestler students in colleges.
Wrestling matches will be held in the educational institutions to promote the traditional game and encourage wrestlers to establish their `Akharas`.
The officials said the basic aim behind revival of traditional games and sports was to engage the youth in healthy activities. However, sources said, the decision had been taken to counter the efforts of Pakistan Tehrik Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan to garner support of the youth in the forthcoming general elections.
They said the government had directed to form committees under the supervision of MPAs to provide sporting facilities to the youngsters.
It may be mentioned that the traditional game of wrestling has become a vanishing sport in the Potohar region and more than four main Akharas in the garrison city disappeared during the last one decade.
Two Akharas were located along Nullah Leh near Pohari Pul, one at Liaquat Bagh near Rawalpindi Press Club before 2002 and one Akhara was established at Saddar near Chota Bazaar.
When contacted, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar said committees would be formed to arrange inter-tehsil and inter-district matches. He said Punjab Sports Council had been asked to arrange events in educational institutions on a regular basis.
The DCO said the CDGR would establish Akhara for wrestling at Government Boys School Sadiqabad and also provide other games facilities in other educational institutions.