Pictured is a group Interhash Fiji Representatives. Photo: SUPPLIED.
By ANA SOVA
4000 hashers are expected to attend the Bula 21st InterHash sporting event that will be held here in Nadi from 24th -27th May next year.
InterHash is a biennial event and is the peak event for international running club Hash House Harriers from around the world to meet, run and socialise.
Interhash Fiji Executive Chairman and Hash Grand Master , Dr. Ram Raju said they are expecting the most number of hashers from Australia followed by North America, United Kingdom and a few from Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
“People from all corners of the world will be here. We’re already preparing ourselves so that we can look after them,” Dr. Raju said.
He said the committee is meeting almost every week in preparation for the event.
“We are looking at the number of registration from overseas and all the queries which we are continually responding to. We’ve got a number of areas to cover and we are gaining ground,” Dr. Raju said.
He said it will be a four day event which will include two days of sporting activities held in the countryside.
“The hash is always held out in the countryside not in towns and cities, some in the bushy areas, some in tough terrains, some good terrains, some good roads and tracks, some can be tough tracks,”
“This is what hashers love. They want to discover the country and that’s the best way to get to know the people and the country, to go out of the towns and cities,” Dr. Raju said.
He said big social programmes are also being organised which will be held at Prince Charles Park, the main centre of the event.
“The main centre is where we will have the registration, the hash bazaar, cultural items, cultural programmes, and entertainment in the evenings,” Dr. Raju said.
He said the event will showcase our Fijian culture and hospitality.
Fiji won the right to host the international event when representatives from Fiji attended the Interhash held in Bali last year.
“It’s pretty interesting how its building up for Fiji Interhash and how we managed to win the bid. We beat Malaysia and Indonesia, who were the other two countries bidding to host the event,”
“We’ve been bidding for about 10 years, three previous times we lost out but we didn’t give up we kept on bidding and fourth time lucky,” Dr. Raju said.
Dr. Raju said the attendance of the diehard runners from around the world will boost the economy and tourism in the country.
The World Harrier Organization is dedicated to harriers and harrier groups around the world who usually practice the traditional sport of hare and hounds, where a well laid trail is at least as important as any social activity.
The traditional practice is the hounds (runners) chasing a hare or hares (runner or runners) laying a live trail, though a few groups may at times pre-lay trail taking the sport out of it, but making up for it with social activity along the trail.
Dr. Raju said activities always end up with socials, in circles and the only drink which was allowed until recently was beer.
“But people have gone beyond just beer, they offer wines but spirits almost zero. But traditionally it was just beer,” Dr. Raju said.
He said the event started in 1938 in Malaysia and over the years have expanded and spread to other countries.
“Close to hundred countries now have hash houses harriers and like Australia every city has a club, with some cities having more than five clubs,” Dr. Raju said.