The Telegraph
Saturday , June 7 , 2014
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Tata Steel game for reviving tribal sport

The teams are ready with their tops, after all itís sekkor time.

Tata Steelís Tribal Cultural Society is hosting a four-day sekkor tournament in villages across West Singhbhum.

About 40 teams with 300 players are participating in the tournament, which kicked off on Thursday. The format of the tournament is such that at first league matches will be played, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

While the first match on Thursday was held at Tantnagar, the second match was played in Bharbharia village on Friday.

Over the next two days, matches will take place in Majhgaon, Khairpal, Purnia and Tantnagar. The final on June 8 will be held at Tata College in Chaibasa.

ďWe have been organising offbeat sports, particularly tribal ones, to make them popular. Though children in remote villages have kept sekkor alive, it is not popular in urban areas,Ē said Urmila Ekka, senior manager of tribal services and corporate sustainability services, Tata Steel.

Sekkor is a large oval-shaped wooden top loosely attached with a string. The players in the team are usually in odd numbers, five being the minimum. The objective of the game is to keep on hitting the sekkor of the opponent team till it goes out a marked circle. However, it is a time-bound game. While juniors get 10 minutes, senior are given 15 minutes.

Traditionally, sekkor is a game played by the Ho tribe. According to the ďHoĒ mythology, this ancient game was first played between two early men and Devils and eventually the early men won.

This game is played during summer season to prevent drought and bring rain.

Tata Steelís Tribal Cultural Society also promotes other tribal sports like kati, chhur, bahuchor and ramdel.