The village holds an annual polo tournament, but rather than using horses, they play the same game with yaks
In a remote village in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Chitral district, locals have pioneered a new sporting event in attempts to promote and attract tourism in the region.
Each year, locals of the Broghil Valley hold a polo tournament, but rather than using horses, they play the same game with yaks, which resemble shaggy, short-legged oxen.
A video by National Geographic shows a group of men and their yaks racing across the field as an enthusiast of the sport shares how the sport gained popularity among the residents of the valley.
A shining example for Chitral
“Traditional Polo which is played on horseback is very famous in Shindoor and Chitral, however in Broghil, Yak Polo is the norm,” said the team captain of the yak polo team.
He went on to explain that everyone can join the tournament and said that “each yak is named a colour like daffodil or green. Whatever its colour, that’s what we name it.”
Manager Tourist Information Centre at Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, Tyab Mir, while speaking to National Geographic said that the residents of Broghil Valley – which is situated at the altitude of nearly 13,000 feet above sea level, surrounded by high mountains with snowcapped peaks – organise a Yak Polo tournament annually in spring to attract tourists.
It is further explained in the video that the Yaks not only draw tourists to the region which is still underdeveloped; lacking basic facilities like electricity and road access, they are also a means of sustenance for the locals who store their meat to survive in the winter.
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Although the sport has gained popularity among national and international tourists, locals hope to further increase its profile more widely to the international community.