Khedan Vatan Punjab Diyan: Male athletes dominate in terms of participation

Updated on Sep 15, 2022 02:17 AM IST

The female participation at the Khedan Vatan Punjab Diyan paints a dismal picture, with only 3,843 female players registering for the tournament against 9,514 male participants

Male athletes dominated in terms of participation at the Khedan Vatan Punjab Diyan’s block-level games. (Harvinder Singh/HT)
Male athletes dominated in terms of participation at the Khedan Vatan Punjab Diyan’s block-level games. (Harvinder Singh/HT)
ByGurjot Singh, Ludhiana

The block-level games being held as part of the larger Khedan Vatan Punjab Diyan has given sporting fans in the district a lot to look over the last week, but even the latest multi-sporting event failed to buck the trend of female athletes being underrepresented in the arena.

The female participation paints a dismal picture, with only 3,843 female players registering for the tournament against 9,514 male participants.

District sports department’s data on online registration across the sporting spectrum shows only 750 girls registered against 2,277 boys for the 22 sports in the under-21 category, while in the Under-17 and Under-14 categories saw 1,171 and 1,531 girls register against 3,027 and 2,805 boys respectively. In the 21-40 age category, 348 female players registered against 1,162 men.

The rural-dominated blocks — Sudhar and Sidhwa Bet also scored poorly on the gender charts as only one girl registered against 54 boys in the former and the latter had only two girls against 50 boys in the Under-21 category.

In Pakhowal and Dehlon, two blocks dodging the trend, girl players outnumbered boys as 128 girls registered against 106 boys in the former and as many as 251 girls registered against 215 boys in the latter.

Speaking of the overall trend, Balwinder Singh, a sports instructor at a government school in Mallan village, said, “Our girls’ softball team has won the district-level match and five girls from our team have been selected for state-level competition, there is a lack of initiative and awareness on the part of parents which is the main reason for less participation of girls.”

An official in the sports department who did not wish to be named, meanwhile, said more grounds and training centres were needed in every block to improve girls’ participation in sports as most parents were hesitant to send the girls far away for training.

The official added that having female trainers and coaches at the local level will also boost the morale of the young girls to take up sports.

Highlighting a positive change in recent times, district sports officer Ravinder Singh said girls’ participation has nonetheless gone up in sports like judo, kho-kho and swimming, adding, “This is the first time that the Games are happening in such set-ups. We have tried our best to create an equitable atmosphere, as many parents and school teachers are seeing the female players, we are hopeful that the participation of girls will increase.”

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