Boomerang Sports Innovations
Boomerang- An International Traditional Sport
History- From the Stone Age to Today – A brief history of boomerang origins
Aerodynamic throw-sticks were developed by Stone Age civilizations in different parts of the world thousands of years ago. The Australian aborigines are the best known; however, these special hunting weapons were also developed in other areas including ancient Egypt, the American Southwest, Eastern Europe, and Indian sub-continent. While there are many stories of how the returning boomerang came to be (many rooted in myth and misinterpretation), most anthropologists agree that it originated from the throw-stick.
At some point (perhaps by accident) the stick became more curved and refined (and much lighter) so that, when thrown vertically, it would return to the thrower. These true boomerangs were probably only used for fun and games, not as weapons.
Today’s modern boomerangs are sports equipment and should be treated with the same respect as Cricket, Tennis or baseball. All sports, like boomerangs, can be dangerous when used carelessly. When used properly, they are safe and fun.
What is a boomerang?
According to Professor Ludwig’s study, in the MAHABHARATA, Neelkanth told about a weapon described as follows:
द्रविदेसू प्रसिद्धं हस्त क्षेप्यम वक्रं काष्ठाफलाकम–
द्रविदियों के बीच प्रसिद्द हाथ से फेंक के चलाया जाने वाला एक छोटा सपाट व् मुड़ा हुआ लकड़ी से बना शस्त्र –
Famous among the Dravidians, a small flat and curved wooden weapon thrown by hand.
We are well aware of our very own ‘Mowgli- the Prince of the forest’, thanks to the story by Rudyard Kipling, about a child from the Gond tribe, spotted by English hunters in the jungles of Seoni, Madhya Pradesh. It is worth mentioning that the ‘Mowgli Festival’ is celebrated by the Government there annually since 2004, the most recent having been held in 2019 at Pench Tiger resort, Seoni. The boomerang, or ‘Mowgli ka Panja’, as it is popularly known, is a traditional hunting tool devised by the Gond tribals, one of the largest indigenous tribes in the world.
The Origin of Boomerang
The fighting weapons of the Australians are few in number and simple in construction; they are spears, clubs, shields and the ‘bumarang’.… the other of these is commonly called the ‘come-back boomerang’. From the strange peculiarity of its flight, the ‘come-back’ variety is not a fighting weapon. A dialect name for it is ‘bargan’ which may be explained to mean ‘bent like a sickle or crescent moon’.
Boomerangs in Speech and Sport Today
The BAA and the BTA of New South Wales have consistently referred to only returning devices as boomerangs when setting rules for competitions, and have used the term hunting stick for competitions with non-returning throw-sticks. We have regarded it as important to preserve the Aboriginal origin of boomerangs in our sport, and to this end maybe an insistence on the correct terms is an education that most people need. If we are going to promote the sport of boomerangs with its history and pre-history accurately, then perhaps we need to insist:
“If it doesn’t come back, it’s not a boomerang.”
Vivek Montrose is the first Indian to learn to not just throw but even carve a Boomerang, resulting in his being fondly titled by the Gond community as ‘Jeans wala Mowgli’.
An Anglo- Indian by birth and family history, he was born and educated in Uttar Pradesh, India. He learnt the sport of Boomerang at the tender age of 15, in 1991, and with the Blessings of his Guru Ken Colbung, an Australian Aboriginal leader, became the first Indian to represent the nation at an international Boomerang championship. He is the Founder President of the first organization in this sport in the country, the Indo-Boomerang Association. Moreover, he has been appointed as the first Indian member of the International Boomerang Federation Associations (IFBA), Germany.
He made his first international appearance at Jamboori, an International Scouts Meet in Perth, Australia, in 1994, with his Guru with Ken Colbung, and was fortunate to participate in friendly Boomerang matches with the then champions of the sport, and even won some, resulting in his mass media coverage all over that event.
He became the first Indian to receive an Invitation to represent India for the first time in an international Boomerang event, which was the 50th Anniversary celebration and championship of the BAA (Boomerang Association of Australia). Participating countries included America, Germany, Japan, Indonesia, India, and Australia among others. Keeping in mind the Indian ties with the Boomerang, owing to its connection with the Jungle Boy Mowgli, who used the same as a tool or weapon for hunting and food gathering, he was honored with the title “Jeans Wala Mowgli” by Hon’ble Minister of Public Welfare Mr. Sajjan Singh Verma.
Among his international achievements, he is the first Indian to become the member of IFBA, the International Federation Of Boomerang Associations, the governing body for the sport all over the World. He did the country proud by creating an opportunity of celebrating the Indian Tricolour by other countries, when the Boomerang Team of Brazil created a Boomerang in the Flag colours and named it Vivek, and gave it a flight at the most famous Copacabana Beach.
He was also awarded the member of the year 2020 by the international Boomerang fraternity for his extraordinary work in a short span of time, as he organized the first National Boomerang Championship in India, in 2020, bringing Indian throwers in the top 35 rankings worldwide. He is the first Indian to join England’s Long Distance club, a category of Boomerangs in the sport.
The INDO-BOOMERANG ASSOCIATION, IBA was founded by Mr. Vivek Montrose in 2019, the only National association for the sport in India, and is awaiting the final affiliation with IFBA shortly.
Presently, he has joined forces with Mr. Amardeep Singh, CEO, Vikramshila University, and his team to bring this sport to its deserved pinnacle in India.