For centuries stonelifting has been a traditional sport. When I recently came across a video of stonelifting in Pakistan, I just knew I had to find out more. Here is my quick five minute interview with Zafar Butt, a very successful Pakistani Stonelifter.
Phil Burgess: How did you get into Stonelifting?
Zaffar Butt: Actually I am a normal simple gentle man but I became a stonelifter and weightlifter because of my trainer, Jabbar Butt who lives in the village of Kontrily Jhelum in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
Phil Burgess: Where in Pakistan does this sport originate from?
Zaffar Butt: Its a famous game in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
These stonelifting events are held in many different villages throughout the Punjab province. One of these villages where a recent competition was held was Lota.
Phil Burgess: What are the rules of Stonelifting?
Zaffar Butt: First of all, stonelifters warm up with low weight stones and then they increase their weight step by step.
When two or more, or maybe only one stonelifter lifts his last weight (like 150kg or 165kg or more), he holds the stone (square shape with handle in top middle) with the handle,and he swings it one or two times, to lift it up to the shoulder. He then has to hold the stone with one hand (left or right) on shoulder and lift up the other hand.
Whoever lifts the heaviest stone is given first Prize and the other stonelifters (who are defeated) are given smaller prizes . Prizes are often trophies or shields and some money.
Phil Burgess: What are the heaviest stones being lifted?
Zaffar Butt: The maximum weight lifted in our area is approximately 200kgs.
Phil Burgess: Do you eat a special diet to be a stonelifter?
Zaffar Butt: Some Stonelifters use medicines, but I am eating regular meals of genuine food like milk, jam etc.
Thanks for your time Zaffar, and all the best with your Stonelifting career.