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Raipur Sports Festival

Raipur Sports Festival was started by the founder of Grewal Sports Association, Inder Singh Grewal way back in 1930 to encourage local youths of Kila Raipur and surrounding areas to participate in sports and recreational activities that could keep them fit and healthy. Today Raipur Sports Festival lives up to its moniker of the ‘Rural Olympics’ of the region admirably and undisputedly.

Raipur Sports Festival attracts more than 4,000 sportsmen and women. They show off their expertise and skills in both traditional and recognized sports. The festival lasts for three days and is attended by millions from Punjab and other states. Besides, the festival is actively followed by sports enthusiasts on television, newspapers and other news mediums.

Significance of Raipur Sports Festival

Kila Raipur Sports Festival evokes a sense of cordiality and bonds sportspersons from diverse regions and backgrounds to promote a common cause.  Punjab looks forward to this iconic Festival eagerly and it is conducted with absolute pomp and opulence. The carnival-like atmosphere is a great unifier and attracts huge crowds every year. The prime focus of Inder Singh Grewal, when he visualized the concept of the ‘Rural Olympic’ was to ensure that everyone has a healthy mind in a healthy body. The Festival lives up to that motto admirably. It has not lost its purpose or enthusiasm even after several decades. The Festival provides a platform for everyone regardless of age, gender, social status or religion, to display their skills.

Date of Raipur Sports Festival

The Raipur Sports Festival is held in February every year at the Grewal Sports Stadium at Kila Raipur which is situated 11 km from Ludhiana. The three-day festival includes about 50 events, made up of both established sport disciplines and some truly queer village pursuits not seen in any other part of the world. This uncommon mix is the secret for the soaring success of this event.

How is Raipur Sports Festival Celebrated

The events at the Festival are roughly divided into three sections. The rural games section includes events such as wrestling, tug of war, kabaddi, weight lifting, tent pegging, paragliding, horse racing, and even some odd events like handling tractor trolley. The modern sports section includes modern day events like athletics, volleyball, football, handball, cycling and many others. The third section is called performing sports and includes events that require extraordinary skills on the part of participants. These include sit-ups, twisting a rod placed on one’s throat, heavy stone-cracking by placing it on the chest, pushing a tractors using only one’s legs, picking three to four bicycles using teeth, riding two horses simultaneously and much more.

The boisterous running commentary provided in Punjabi adds to rustic feel of the festival. Events like dog races, bullock cart races, tractor races and animals like bulls and dogs combating animatedly send the crowd into raptures as they keep egging the competitors, of the two-legged and the four-legged variety, to outperform others.

The Future of Raipur Sports Festival

The Grewal Sports Association has plans to make the stadium bigger to accommodate the ever-growing crowds and the number of competitors and events. They will soon be laying a synthetic surface for hockey. The organizers themselves have been players of repute in their heydays and are committed to ensure that the dream of Inder Singh Grewal remains alive for decades to come. No other rural sports or event can come even close to matching the size, participation levels and audience enthusiasm that the Kila Raipur Sports Festival evokes. It continues to chart newer heights of popularity and remains the biggest and the most prestigious sporting event of its kind.

Kila Raipur and villages surrounding the region have the distinction of playing an incomparable role in contributing to mainstream sports in almost every major recognized category.

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