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with this years 4thWorld Nomad Games being held in Bursa

Time:2020-03-07 14:51Shoes websites Click:

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I received last week an email advertising the wins, decisions and signs of camaraderie emanating from the 3rd International Ethnosports Forum, which sounds just like my cup of tea in regards to sporting competitions—that is, as long as they are not too violent a contact sport.

The gathering of officials of niche sports—were tiddlywinks, conkers and cheese-rolling adequately represented, I wonder, as a proud Brit?—met on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey on 22-23 February, with celebratory receptions and dinners at area hotels and lots of discussion of rules, conduct and sporting solidarity.

This all followed last October’s Ethnosports Cultural Festival in Istanbul, where more than 1,000 participants included Berkin Aras, the 13-year-old who won gold in the 15th World Horseback Archery Championship held in 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.

Hoteliers better do some traditional revenue management as the festival is so cool it does not even have its own website.

Maybe entries are sent in on the end of an arrow into a barn door, or something like that?

The cultural festival includes 11 traditional sports, where it seems rather easy to throw a hip or scrape all the skin off the back of your hand, but also involves one board game, called mancala, which I can only assume is the mental equivalent to all that oil and belt wrestling, horseback archery and mounted javelin throwing.

The sports continue apace, with this year’s 4th World Nomad Games being held in Bursa, Turkey.

Seems like Turkey is making a land grab for ethnosports.

All of this requires stays in hotels, and gives me a chance to write about it, albeit dubiously. Think of the extra storage requests for things like bows and arrows and horses, and an athlete’s favorite supply of sports-throwing cow and sheep ankle bones for something that in English goes by the name of talus bone games.

So much more fun and original than a Super Bowl halftime show.

Athletes produce huge appetites by the end of their sporting fixtures, and hotels will be there to cater to all their F&B needs.

Odd games take place closer to where you live, too. As the world becomes a busier, more stressful place, humans will react by taking part in madder and madder sporting events going forward—or backwards or down or up or fast, or whatever the sport requires of those taking part.

In the United Kingdom, the newspapers get obsessed with recording the blood, bruises and bumps that are part and parcel of Shrove Tuesday “football” matches where a small ball is thrown around a town’s lanes, rivers, houses, hills and marshes before dipped in a stream where the thrashing of limbs produces white water tinged red and then someone, somehow, somewhere is declared a winner after about four hours. Thousands—mostly men—take part, and steel toe-capped boots are considered the sensible footwear.

These events are considered mostly a local affair, but many do come from outside and stay the night before and then, to heal wounds, a couple of nights afterwards for good measure.

Also bringing in the tourists en masse is the sporting spectacle of cheese-rolling.

The most famous of its kind is the Cooper’s Hill event in the Gloucestershire, England, village of Brockworth. The ball here is not a football but a round Gloucestershire cheese wheel that is thrown down a steep hill and after which a motley collection of prize loons—sorry, elite athletes—race down after it.

People from all over the world come for a chance to do this, or more probably to swap tales of fractured fingers, bruised ribs, crushing falls and the like, or worse, over a pint or two, with some nursing their wounds in the Cheese Rollers pub in nearby Shurdington, from whence many participants hail.

There is a separate women’s event, before anything puts this all down to testosterone.

Wry smiles placed aside, events such as these are what make travel memorable, and they bring in needed income, mostly to rural communities.

Such sports often play a central role in what it means to be of a region or people, with their histories going back centuries, so I say get to the start line … that is, just after checking in to your local hotel.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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