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Sports

Discovering our community’s traditional, unique, and cultural sports

Workinton Qatar, organized their first National Sports Day event at Workinton Alfardan Centre celebrating their rich and diverse community and showcasing unique sports that are derived from different cultures. The event included activities from physical movement, mental wellbeing, education, and play through technology. Essentially, incorporating all their pillars of Learn, Create, Grow and Glow.  

Get a glimpse of our community’s unique, traditional, and cultural sports.

China: Wushu

Or Kung fu, is a hard and soft and complete martial art, as well as a full-contact combat sport. It was developed in 1949 in an effort to standardize the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts, yet attempts to structure the various decentralized martial arts traditions date back earlier, when the Central Guoshu Institute was established at Nanking in 1928.

“Wushu” is the Chinese term for “martial arts” (武 “Wu” = combat or martial, 術 “Shu” = art).

In contemporary times, Wushu has become an international sport under the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), which holds the World Wushu Championships every two years.

Egypt: Speed-Ball

Is a racquet sport invented in Egypt in 1961 by Mohamed Lotfy, father of Hussein Lotfy (first world champion) and Ahmad Lotfy (the present president of FISB), for the training of beginner tennis players.

Today it is a sport in its own right, enjoying popularity not only in Egypt but in other countries. Several of these countries make up the International Federation of Speed-Ball (IFSB).

France: Pétanque

Is a sport that falls into the category of boules sports, along with raffa, bocce, boule lyonnaise, lawn bowls, and crown green bowling. In all of these sports, players or teams play their boules/balls towards a target ball.

In pétanque the objective is to score points by having boules closer to the target than the opponent after all boules have been thrown. This is achieved by throwing or rolling boules closer to the small target ball, officially called a jack or by hitting the opponents’ boules away from the target, while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground.

The game is normally and best played on hard dirt or gravel. It can be played in public areas in parks or in dedicated facilities called boulodromes.

The current form of the game was codified in 1907 or 1910 in La Ciotat, in Provence, France. The French name pétanque (borrowed into English, with or without the acute accent) comes from petanca in the Provençal dialect of the Occitan language, deriving from the expression pè tancat [ˈpɛ taŋˈkat], meaning ‘foot fixed’ or ‘foot planted’ (on the ground).

India//Sri-Lanka//Pakistan: Kabaddi

Is a sport developed centered on Jallikattu. It is common among the Ayar tribal people who lived in the Mullai geographical region of ancient Tamil Nadu.

A player going to the opposition is treated like a Bull. It is like taming a bull without touching it, as it is mentioned in Sangam Literature that the game called Sadugudu was practised since ages. There are also accounts of Gautam Buddha having played the game recreationally.

Played between two teams of seven players, the objective of the game is for a single player on offence, referred to as a “raider”, to run into the opposing team’s half of the court, touch out as many of their players and return to their own half of the court, all without being tackled by the defenders in 30 seconds. Points are scored for each player tagged by the raider, while the opposing team earns a point for stopping the raider. Players are taken out of the game if they are touched or tackled, but are brought back in for each point scored by their team from a tag or a tackle.

Italy: Tamburello

Is a court game invented in the northern provinces of Italy during the 16th century.

It is a modification of the ancient game of pallone col bracciale, bearing the same general relation to it as Squash does to Racquets.

Tamburello is also similar in form to tennis.

Mexico: Ulama

The word ulama comes from the Nahuatl word ōllamaliztli, a combination of ōllamas (playing of a game with a ball) and ōllei (rubber).

Ōllamaliztli was the Aztec name for the Mesoamerican ballgame, whose roots extended back to at least the 2nd millennium BC and evidence of which has been found in nearly all Mesoamerican cultures in an area extending from modern-day Mexico to El Salvador, and possibly in modern-day Arizona and New Mexico.

The object of the game is to keep the ball in play and in-bounds. Depending on the score and the local variant of the rules, the ball is played either high or low. A team scores a point when a player of the opposing team hits the ball out of turn, misses the ball, knocks the ball out of bounds, touches the ball with any part of the body aside from the hip, accidentally touches a teammate, lets the ball stop moving before it reaches the center line, or even if they fail to announce the score after they have scored a point.

Philippines: Arnis

Also known as Kali or Eskrima/Escrima, is the national martial art of the Philippines.

Arnis comes from arnés, the Old Spanish for “armour” (harness is an archaic English term from same root). It is said to derive from the armour costumes used in traditional Moro-moro stage plays, where actors fought mock battles with wooden swords. Arnes is also an archaic Spanish term for weapon, used as early as 1712.

One of the most important practices in classical Arnis was dueling, without any form of protection.

Arnis competitions uses foam-padded sticks about an inch in diameter with thin rattan cores roughly a centimeter in diameter. These sticks are meant to break before serious injury occurs.

Qatar: Falconry

Falconry has been a form of sport in Qatar since the times of the Bedouin tribes. Falcons are trained, at that time, to hunt migratory birds for food because of their patience, self-reliance, endurance and valour, and of course, the fact that they are one of the fastest predatory birds in the world.

Once it became a sporting activity of choice and not a need to hunt for food, falconry became popular in Qatar, specially in the elite, who spends thousands on breeding these birds of prey adorning them with fancy headgear and training them for falconry events held even today in the winter months. People from the region and the world come to either participate in this prestigious sport or watch the falcons in action marveling at the way they carry themselves through the sky.

Turkey: Jereed

Is a traditional Turkish equestrian team sport played outdoors on horseback in which the objective is to score points by throwing a blunt wooden javelin at opposing team’s horsemen. Played by Turkic peoples in Central Asia as the essential sporting and ceremonial game, it was brought to Anatolia during westward migration in the beginning of the 11th century.

Jereed is a means of improving equestrian skills, and involves two teams of horsemen, each armed with dried oak or poplar sticks. The sticks with rubber-tipped, blunt ends are 70-100cm in lenth and 2-3cm in diameter. Originally, the sticks were heavier and thicker, however in order to reduce the risk of injury, players came to prefer sticks made of poplar, which became lighter when dried.

Uganda: Omweso

Omweso (sometimes shortened to Mweso) is the traditional mancala game of the Ugandan people.

The game was supposedly introduced by the Bachwezi people of the ancient Bunyoro-kitara empire of Uganda. Nowadays the game is dominated by Ugandan villagers. It is very hard and fast game said to keep one’s mind high and ever excited, which make it addictive. The equipment needed for the game is essentially the same as that of the Bao game (found in Tanzania and neighboring countries).

Omeweso is strictly related to wide family of mancalas found in eastern and southern Africa; these include Coro in the Lango region of Uganda, Aweet in Sudan, Hus in Namibia, Kombe in Lamu, Mongale in Mombasa, Mongola in Congo, Igisoro in Rwanda, and Kiela in Angola.

The name “Omweso” is derived from Swahili word michezo, which means “game”.

United Kingdom: Stoolball

Is a sport that dates back to at least the 15th century, originating in Sussex, southern England. It is considered a “traditional striking and fielding sport” and may be an ancestor of cricket (a game it resembles in some respects), baseball, softball, and rounders. The sport has been called “cricket in the air”. There is evidence to suggest that iwas played as a tradition by milkmaids who used their milking stools as a “wicket” and the bittle, or milk bowl as a bat, hence its archaic name bittle-battle.

The game’s popularity has faded since the 1960s, but continues to by played at a local league level in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and the Midlands. Some variants are played in some schools. Teams be ladies only or mixed.

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