By Syed Khalid Mahmood
The Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) has been advised to by the provincial government to search and identify an amenity where they could build their proposed snooker academy.
Sindh Sports Minister, Dr Syed Mohammed Ali Shah, has disclosed having asked the office-bearers of the PBSA to carry out a survey of localities where they are desirous of building their academy.
“The PBSA officials had approached me with a request to arrange for them an amenity plot as they have offered to build the complex themselves for the purpose of centralizing their activities. I have promised them a plot of land for this purpose hopefully in the area of their choice,” Dr Shah revealed.
“The PBSA functionaries have taken the responsibility of visiting the areas where they are interested in building the academy. Once they are done with the process of selecting a vacant amenity plot then they will be required to submit a petition for its possession. Since our government has a sports friendly policy I am confident that their request will be entertained,” he hoped.
The Sindh Minister, who was the chief guest in the prize distribution of the NJI 35th National Snooker Championship 2010 at the Karachi Gymkhana recently, reckoned that the development of a snooker academy will go a long way in boosting cue sports.
“Snooker has tremendous potential. It can be helpful in bringing the much needed medals for Pakistan in the Asian Games. Steps must be taken to promote the game from the grassroots level as the youngsters are very keen to play it,” Dr Shah added.
Dr Shah, who is also the President of the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA), urged the local organizers and administrators to take the necessary corrective measures when questioned about the declining standards in snooker in Karachi where as the cueists from Punjab were improving in leaps and bounds of late.
It has been an ambition of the PBSA to have an academy of their own. Their office-bearers have made a mention of it on a number of occasions in the past well.
But it’s really a matter of surprise that they were unable to do it even when the cueists had earned glories for the country and they had a willing sponsor in Lakson Tobacco Company whose brand of Red & White had become synonymous with snooker for a long time.
One gets the impression now that the PBSA functionaries were not too serious in pursuing the proposed academy project as it demanded continuous hard work besides consistent policies.
There was a time when snooker had become the most popular sport of the country, after cricket of course. But the odd movers and shakers in the PBSA were not all that keen in legwork or making extra efforts for implementing long-term plans.
The present leadership in the PBSA has the eagerness to move around but their priorities have come under fire more often than not. Will they succeed in doing the work on their side to make the most of the offer made by Dr Shah remains to be seen.