बुधबार , अषोज १०, २०८०

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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At 61 years, age no bar for Ghale to participate in Ninth National Games


Dhan Bahadur Ghale is 61 years old. But he is still seen in the playground, carrying the squash racket.

He is the oldest athlete participating in the Ninth National Games under way in Gandaki province and his passion for games has defied his age. Ghale is competing in the Ninth National Games, representing Province no 1.

Ghale is the oldest among the 1,157 athletes who are participating in the Ninth National Games under way in Pokhara since October 14. The largest sports festival is closing today.

Born on April 17, 1961 in Khandbari, Sankhuwasabha district, Ghale served in the Singapore Police for 26 years seven months. Ghale was drawn to squash in course of his service in Singapore Police. Squash was popular game in Singapore at that time. He took part in various squash competitions there.

When he came back to Nepal after retirement from Singapore Police, Ghale wanted to continue his favourite game. He was looking for venues where he could practice and play. But he could not find suitable place. The Satdobato squash court had not been constructed yet. There were no physical infrastructures for squash in east Nepal also at that time.

Ghale then decided to move to Kathmandu and started playing the game with his friends as pastime. He was a good player. After learning that Ghale was an accomplished player, the Province no 1 Squash Association approached him and requested to play in the Ninth National Games representing the province. This is how Ghale came to play in the Games.

He lost in the first match of the Games, but he is not disappointed. “It is altogether a different pleasure to be defeated by your opponent of the age of your grandson,” Ghale said of his experience in the Games. He said although he lost in the individual event, he will fare better in the team event.

According to him, the younger generation needs to be provided with motivation. Together with Ghale, 57-year-old Bir Bahadur Nepal is also come to Pokhara as a competitor. Nepal also echoes Ghale that age is no bar when you have a passion for sports. Nepal made a debut in sports from the Fifth National Games and continues till the ninth edition of the Games. He clinched silver medal in the Fifth National Games and bronze in the sixth, seventh and eighth editions.

Anil Bajracharya, squash instructor of Province no 1, said that Ghale and Nepal have been selected to represent Province no 1 in the Ninth Games in Pokhara due to their sporting talent. “Although they are older in age, I am impressed by their skills. There are only few squash players in our province. I brought them representing our province due to their sheer passion and aptitude for the game.”

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