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The top functionary of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has regretted inadequate training and international exposure to the athletes ahead of the 11th South Asian Games scheduled to commence in Dhaka later this month.
General Syed Arif Hasan, President, POA, in a recent chat, observed that Pakistan would have stood a chance of claiming many more medals if the athletes were provided the desired training and exposure at the international level.
“For reasons beyond our control we were unable to execute the plan that would have helped improve our record in the upcoming regional Games in which our athletes had fared rather well in the past,” he stated.
He described the current year (2010) as one of the most important ones for Pakistan during which the country has to participate in as many as three multi-sports events are to be held. The South Asian Games would be followed by the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
When inquired about the problems, the POA chief singled out the lack of funds as the biggest obstacle in carrying out their plans.
“Obviously we are not in a position to implement our plans in the desired manner due to scarcity of funds. We have had to contain our activities that didn’t help in making advancement in the field of sports,” he said.
He looked forward to the governmental support in future in order to accomplish the cherished goals of the national Olympic body.
“Making the use of the available resources we are putting together our strongest possible squad for the upcoming South Asian Games and we are hoping that our athletes will come up with encouraging performance in Dhaka,” the POA chief added.
The 2010 South Asian Games is scheduled to take place from January 29 to February 8. This will be the third time that the Bangladeshi capital hosts the Games, thus becoming the fourth city to host the Games multiple times after Colombo, Kathmandu and Islamabad.
Besides Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh the athletes from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan would be taking part in the 11-day extravaganza.
It’s indeed a pity that Pakistan’s athletes have been denied the opportunity of gearing up for the mega events. Whether it’s the lack of coordination between the concerned bodies or any politics involved between them it’s the country that’s going to suffer more likely than not.
The Federal Ministry of Sports and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) have their own set of priorities and for the time being at least they don’t seem to be in any mood to proactively make things happen.
The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) on their part should also shoulder the blame for not having taken the measures to arrest the decline in standard of sports in the recent past. They were not short of funds until their marketing arm, the Pakistan Sports Trust (PST), was feeding the federations.
Syed Khalid Mahmood has had passion for writing and sports since childhood. After having edited wall papers and magazines in his student life, he had started contributing to various international publications from an early age.
He joined the mainstream journalism in 1987 and his first book was published later the same year. After having studied at the famed institutions like Cadet College Petaro and Delhi College, he graduated in civil engineering from the prestigious NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, in 1986.
He has earned greater fame and recognition in the field of media being acclaimed as a leading international sports writer, having worked for some of the eminent newspapers like The Frontier Post and The News International besides a brief stint with The Mississauga News. He has also appeared regularly as an analyst on various television channels.
He has already authored 12 books viz Asian Glory (2012); Reflections (2010); Cricket Fever: A History of Pakistan-India Tours (2008); Mission Caribbean: A Guide to ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 (2007); World Cup 2003: Top of the Charts (2005); Spotlight on World Cup 2003 (2005); World Cup 1999: So Near Yet So Far (2000); Pakistan’s Sports Greats (1997); Pakistan: The Land of World Champions (1995); Pakistan’s Triumph in World Cup 1992 (1993); The Caribbean Challenge: A History of Pakistan-West Indies matches (1989) and Focus on World Cup (1987 and 1994).
He has had an active social life throughout. Having founded The Young Champs in 1984 he became the District Secretary of Rotary International District 3271 (Pakistan) in 2015-16. Besides being the Founder President of the NED Alumni Association, he is also the Vice President of the Delhi College & Schools Old Boys Association. He is also a member of The Petarian Association, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Engineering Council and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
His write-ups are carried by innumerable portals and websites across the world while his exclusive articles on the web, having grown in popularity, could be accessed on his blog at www.skmsports.com
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