DEHRADUN: The sports department has set up a committee under the chairmanship of ace shooter Jaspal Rana to identify traditional games in Uttarakhand that can be included in 38th National Games scheduled to take place in Uttarakhand in year 2018.

The other members of the committee include footballer Dhirendra Chauhan, former Olympian Narendra Singh Rawat (hockey), Arjuna awardee Surendra Singh (canoeing) and Padam Bahadur Mal (boxing). The committee is expected to submit its report within six months.

Ajay Agarwal, deputy director of sports department, said, "As per the directions of chief minister Harish Rawat, the committee has been set by the sports department with Jaspal Rana as its head to identify traditional sports of Uttarakhand, if there are any, to include in the National Games."

"We can include maximum of three traditional games, if there are any, in the National Games sporting events," added Agarwal. It is to be noted that about 400 competitions are expected to be played in 32 sporting events in 38th National Games.

Requesting anonymity, a sports department official told TOI, "As per my knowledge, there is no traditional game in Uttarakhand that can be included in National Games. The traditional game should at least be played in one or two states for including in the National Games."

Speaking on the issue, former Indian footballer, Shyam Thapa, said, "The National Games will provide opportunity to Uttarakhand to shine in country's sporting map. Football and athletics have been most popular sports in the state and the committee should look into more traditional games played in the state."

It is to be noted that traditional games like 'kho kho' and 'kabaddi' are already part of National Games sporting events.

Courtesy: Times Of India

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