National player Shrinivas Havaldar says it's not only a game but also a form of exercise Mallakhamb or pole gymnastics has got a web portal now, shrinivashavaldar.com, launched by national mallakhamb player Shrinivas Havaldar, that details the history and benefits of the game.
With about 25 Indian states participating in the National Amateur Mallakhamb Tournament,the game is regaining its popularity. It's time to take the game to the international sports arena. This website will be a step ahead in this direction, Havaldar said.
The portal seeks to promote mallakhamb not only as a sport,but also as a form of exercise that helps in increasing concentration and improving fitness and stamina. It was inaugurated by PNG partner Saurabh Gadgil and actor Girish Kulkarni recently.
Havaldar,who was a banker by profession till recently,has been a mallakhamb player since the age of seven. He has trained about 150 players,including middle-aged persons,students and even deaf,dumb and blind.
The game,which was invented in the 17th century,can cure back ache,a common ailment seen among those in the IT sector. It does not require any basic fitness and one can begin training after five years of age.
He is also planning to popularise the game in schools.With the declaration of 25 grace marks for students excelling in sports,many students have started taking interest in sports activities. However,most schools focus on games like cricket,football,swimming,athletics and so on. I plan to introduce mallakhamb as a professional sport in schools.
He said though some students have been participating in inter-school mallakhamb competition,their percentage is negligible when compared to the other sports. I plan to promote mallakhamb in schools through this website and encourage more students to take up this sport.
He is also planning to publish at least two books on the sport for wider reach. Mallakhamb awareness programmes are conducted in some cities like Delhi's Bharatiyam Festival,Karnataka's Bidar Festival and so on. The website will prove an added source of knowledge for the younger generation who cannot attend such events.
Havaldar trains students at four locations in the city now, Parshuramiya Mallakhamb Academy near SP College,Chaitanya Health Club in Kothrud,Bharari Pratishthan in Bibvewadi and Kreeda Niketan on Sinhagad Road.