The School Education Department, South Punjab, under the over-all supervision of the Minister for School Education, is organizing a mega sporting event, SCHOOLYMPICS, from November 8-12, 2021. First of its kind, the event has been modelled on the pattern of the Olympics. Not only an Olympic village would be set-up for 5 days at Dera Ghazi Khan for the purpose but also a torch would be lit-up for the duration of the event. Hundreds of athletes and players from 11 districts of the South Punjab would compete for dozens of gold, silver and bronze medals in a number of games/sports. It may be noted here that no sporting event has been organized at such a large scale in the South Punjab ever before. It is, in fact, likely to become a trend setter for other parts of the country too.
- To revive the tradition of playing sports in the educational institutes.
- To create nurseries for producing athletes/players of international standards.
- To take up the challenge of diverting the attention of youth away from the unbridled use of computers, video games, mobile phones and other such electronic gadgets.
- To promote healthy habits, discipline and sportsman spirit among the youth.
- To provide entertainment opportunities to the people of the South Punjab.
- Last but not the least, taking those events to as far-flung areas of the Punjab as Dera Ghazi Khan, which were previously reserved for big urban centers of Central Punjab only.
- The inaugural ceremony would be held at Dera Ghazi Khan Cricket Stadium on November 8, and entail march past of athletes/players as well as activities such as PT Show, gymnastics, Baluchi dance, Jhoomar, Mor dance, Daachi dance etc.
- A SCHOOLYMPICS torch would be lit up on October 29, 2021 at Bahawalpur, i.e. 10 days prior to the inauguration, on the pattern of the Olympics, by legendary hockey player and former olympian, Sami Ullah – fondly referred to as the Flying Horse. It would be carried forward by local athletes, i.e. a boy and a girl, and later handed over to an athlete from Bahawalnagar. In the same manner, athletes of one district would pass it on to the athletes of the neighbouring district. The torch would thus pass through all eleven districts of the South Punjab to finally reach DG Khan on the day of inauguration.
- Competitions would be held in athletics, hockey, football, volleyball, badminton, and table tennis – both for boys and girls.
- All competitions would be held at DG Khan. However, hockey competition for boys would be held at Bahawalpur, and that of football at Multan, in order to give sense of participation to other two divisions of South Punjab as well as a wider base to the SCHOOLYMPICS.
- Athletes/players would be housed in hostels of government institutes as well schools.
- The SCHOOLYMPICS would culminate in a ceremony to be held on November 12 entailing, among others items, fireworks, again on the pattern of actual Olympics.
The funding would be provided by all three Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (DG Khan, Multan, Bahawalpur) of the South Punjab, out of the sports funds which they collect from the students at the time of their registration with the Boards. It may be noted here that never before, these funds have been used for such an organised, meaningful and result oriented activity.
FUTURE PROGRESSION/WAY FORWARD:
The SCHOOLYMPICS would be made a regular annual event for South Punjab. It would, however, be circulated among different divisional headquarters every year. It is also hoped that once the SCHOOLYMPICS are successfully held in the South Punjab, and the word spreads out, other areas and provinces of the country might like to follow suit, sooner or later.