October 27, 2008

Aziz Memon: From a Table Tennis Champion to Legendary Rotary Leader


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Mr Aziz Memon, rewrote the history of Rotary during his tenure as the District Governor in 2007-08, is acclaimed as a man with the Midas touch. His accomplishments in the field of business and social sector are truly inspirational. He has proved his mettle in the Rotary arena by setting new records.

Records are nothing new for Mr Aziz Memon who derives great inspiration by following the sporting events and reading about the success stories of the top athletes of the world.
Mr Aziz Memon, District Governor, Rotary International, District 3270 (Pakistan and Afghanistan) for 2007-08 has had a great passion for sports from his childhood. In fact he played quite a few games himself and excelled in some of them. He was the school champion in table tennis.

“Sports is an important part of just about every society, every country, every part of our planet. In one way or another, everyone is involved in sports or some sort, whether they are playing or watching or just knowing someone who does either,” he said in a recent interview.

“Sports may come in many sizes. And every game has its own charm. Golf is an individual sport. Even though golfers play on the same course, they are really competing against one another only with their scores. Unlike tennis, in which one player must beat the other to finish a match, golf features each player against every other player, with the one who takes the fewest strokes to sink the ball into 18 holes declared the winner,” Mr Aziz Memon pointed out.

“Football, cricket and hockey are team sports. Teams of eleven are off against each other, with team members helping each other to win as a team,” he added.

“Sports bring people together and also set people apart. They bring together in that a team can inspire many fans to cheer for that team. And each team has its own set of fans. So, when two teams compete against each other or two individual athletes go at each other, the fan base is divided in two. Such classic rivalries as Pakistan-India in hockey and Australia-England in cricket can last for decades with fan traditions being passed on from generation to generation,” Mr Aziz Memon emphasized.

Among the famous sports quotes that came readily to his mind were that of Roger Bannister and Mohammad Ali.

“Doctors and scientists said that breaking the four-minute mile was impossible, that one would die in the attempt. Thus, when I got up from the track after collapsing at the finish line, I figured I was dead,” Roger Bannister had said after becoming the first person to break the four-minute mile in 1952.

“Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision,” were the words of US heavyweight boxer Mohammad Ali.

Mr Aziz Memon also agrees with the observation of sprinter Carl Lewis who once said:
“My thoughts before a big race are usually pretty simple. I tell myself: Get out of the blocks, run your race, stay relaxed. If you run your race, you'll win... channel your energy. Focus.”


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