The first-ever district all-girls under-14 sports meet, to promote the cause of the girl child, will begin on Monday.
But till last week, the zila parishad could not finalise a venue for the event.
After finding many of its proposed venues unsuitable for the sports meet, the organising committee decided to hold it at a government school for boys.
Almost 500 girls are expected to participate in the two-day meet. The event will see competition in kho-kho, kabaddi, shooting, shotput, disc throw and other athletic events.
Pawan Kumar, superintendent, zila parishad Mansa, who is the brain behind the meet, said that the committee found the ground in girls’ school too small for the event. Moreover, they needed a track for athletics and shooting range.
“We also approached panchayats of Jawahar Ke and Kotra Kalan villages. The grounds there were found unsuitable. Finally, we approached the boys’ school in Fafdey Bhai Ke. Principal Madan Lal Katariya agreed to give us the venue,” said Pawan Kumar.
Teams from 18 villages will participate in the tournament. Winners will be given cash prizes. The organisers say that age limit of tournament was kept under-14 deliberately.
Amarjit Singh Chahal, in-charge of Ralli primary school whose team will participate at the meet, said, “It is in itself an irony that an all-girls tournament will take place in a boys’ school as their school has more facilities. But it is a welcome step.”
“A tournament of this kind is being held for the first time and you cannot change mentality of the people instantly. It has to go step by step. So for the first attempt, we have kept it under-14,” said Kumar.
“One way to promote girl child is to tell people what they are capable of. In this event, they will show their skills in various sports which will boost their confidence. We shall also be giving team prizes and we were expecting more than 18 entries. But seeing it is the first attempt, it is good enough,” said Sukhdev Singh, chairman of zila parishad.