The traditional martial art of Punjab, Gatka is poised to get a significant boost nationwide as the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has officially included this sport in the 37th National Games 2023, scheduled to be held in Goa in October, the game promoters said on Monday.

Gatka as a modern sporting discipline is a standardised style of stick fighting between two or more opponents.

During the National Games, the IOA, in collaboration with the government of Goa, would organise competitions for 43 disciplines.

Elated over the development, Harjeet Singh Grewal, the National Gatka Association of India (NGAI) President, expressed his gratitude to the IOA President P.T. Usha as well as the Games Technical Conduct Committee (GTCC) Chairman, Amitabh Sharma, member Bhupiner Singh Bajwa and others, for including the martial art Gatka in the national games for the first time.

Grewal told IANS: "We have long yearned for due recognition of this game by the IOA. Recently, a high-level meeting was held with IOA and GTCC office-bearers in New Delhi to acknowledge this game and include it in the upcoming national games."

He said although the NGAI has been promoting this sport through its affiliated state associations in 22 states, this decision would certainly prove to be a significant step in the overall development of Gatka across the country.

He said preparations are underway for participation in the national games.

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