TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Ministry of Youth and Sports (Kemenpora) established Bangka Belitung Islands Province as the host for the traditional sports festivals in 2020, as part of the government's efforts to preserve traditional sports in Indonesia which are being replaced by technology-based games.
"Next year's traditional game festival will be centered on Belitung Island," Assistant Deputy for Traditional Sports and Special Services Development at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Aris Subiyono, said in Pangkalpinang on Tuesday.
The traditional sports festival is being held to revive enthusiasm among children, especially students, to play traditional games in their regions.
"Nowadays, children's interest in traditional sports or games has diminished, and they prefer technological games," Subiyono said.
Based on data from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, around 72 percent of children aged 18 years and above own gadgets or cellphones. It means they move their fingers, but not their bodies.
"We keep striving to make the younger generation love traditional sports again. This is not only to pursue achievements but also to revive the indigenous sports of the Indonesian people," he stated.
Indonesia has many traditional sports such as terompah panjang, gasing, bakiak, kereta sorong, pencak silat, and others. Head of the Youth and Sports Agency of the Bangka Belitung Islands Province, Suharto, supported and thanked the Ministry of Youth and Sports for appointing Bangka Belitung as the host of the national traditional sports festival next year.
"Currently, sports and traditional games are increasingly becoming extinct due to technological developments," he said.
Therefore, the regional government along with Kemenpora is continuing to preserve the traditional sports.