The WAC Department for Youth Development and Physical Culture continues to conduct master classes on Abkhazian national games in villages and towns of Abkhazia.

Selma Bazba

The first master class on the “Aimtsakiachara” game (Abkhazian folk ball game - ed.) in 2024 was held at Pakuash Secondary School No. 1. It was conducted by the head of the WAC Department for Youth Development and Physical Culture Valery Berzenia.

First, the schoolchildren were given theoretical instruction, during which Berzenia told about the rules of the game, explained how to use the necessary attributes, and also shared some tricks for achieving victory.

WAC resumed the project on Abkhazian national games
© WAC / Selma Bazba

“Aimtsakiachara” is a traditional Abkhazian game, which in its structure is a kind of symbiosis of rugby, baseball and freestyle wrestling. Our fathers and grandfathers used to play it. The rules of the game are as follows: team captains knock down a felt ball with wooden sticks, and the rest of the players try to possess it and, having caught it, run across the field to the opponent’s side as quickly as possible, thus earning a point for their team,” he noted.

After the theoretical part, the guys started the game itself. They divided into two teams, and under Berzenia’s leadership they played their first match of Aimtsakiachara.

The schoolchildren were enthusiastic about the idea of ​​studying national games. It is worth noting that even after the master class ended, they remained on the field and continued to play, despite the rainy weather.

“The game is not as simple as it may seem from the outside. There are elements of wrestling and the use of force on the field. One needs qualities such as speed and agility. We were so carried away by the process that we continued to play even during the rain,” said student Sultan Pachulia.

The master class was also attended by teachers who will help the children learn the new rules as soon as possible. After all, there is a tournament ahead of them.

“The project on Abkhazian national games has already become traditional. Tournaments are held annually where teams from all over the country gather and show their results. It’s gratifying that every year more and more people want to know the games. Of course, the tournament will be held this year. Our plans are to cover as many villages as possible within the framework of the work of the first two quarters. After which we will organize everyone’s favorite tournament,” added Berzenia.

The WAC project on Abkhazian folk games has been implemented since 2022. Over this period, it has already become popular among young people. Three tournaments were held. And every year more and more people want to take part. The project on Abkhazian folk games is aimed at reviving interest in national sports and expanding knowledge about Abkhazian culture. The organizers are going to continue developing the project.