Times of India
HYDERABAD: Young lads who eagerly participated in the two-day wrestling tournament held at Barkas reflected the fondness for the sport still exists in the Old City. About 35 young boys, aged between 9 and 14, wrestled for the title of Hyderabad Bal Kesari at the event that concluded on Friday. The youngsters participated in the 35-40 kg weight category.
Hailing from different parts of the Old City, the young wrestlers are the gen-next torch bearers of the sport, say the organizers. However the boys say that they are in it purely for the love of the sport.
"I love cricket and football but it is wrestling that I would like to pursue as a career," says 13-year-old Usama Bamas. Bamas is aware of the hardship the sport involves. "We are made to train for three hours everyday. We are also advised to take care of diet, that essentially includes proteins, " he says.
Fourteen-year-old Abubakr bin Abdullah is another promising wrestler from Barkas. He says that wrestling is in his blood as the men in his family have been wrestlers. "Wrestling gives a thrill that other sports do not. Though there is risk of injury, I would not want to give it up," says Abubakr. When asked if wrestling allows for normal schooling, Abubakr laughs it off. "I am amongst the first five rankers in my class."
"At our akhada, we have about 50 children who are below the age of 14. Training has to start before the body loses its flexibility. Of the young wrestlers we have, at least 15 of them can make it big if they are given proper training," says Khaled Bamas, one of the organizers.