June 12, 2010

HBL School Coaching Project concludes


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The chairman of the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), Fawad Ijaz Khan, has underlined the importance of coaching at the grassroots level in cricket while acknowledging the support of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) for in this particular field.

Speaking at the certificate distribution ceremony of the HBL School Boys Cricket Coaching Project, the PVCA Chairman also made a special mention of Alamgir Ahmed in the promotion of school level cricket.

Alamgir, it may be recalled, was recently awarded ICC centenary medal in recognition of his services to the promotion of the game. He has remained associated with the PVCA for quite sometime, having organized numerous events for the veterans as well as the teenaged students.

Fawad Ijaz, the motivating force behind the formation and subsequent professional running of the PVCA, paid glowing tributes to his team for having delivered against the heaviest of odds.

“Despite the reservations of some of the members, we decided to embark upon on this project which has finally come to a successful end. Our association has been actively playing its role in the sphere the corporate social responsibility,” the PVCA Chairman observed.

Former Pakistan fast bowler and the country's most qualified coach, Jalaluddin, in his speech pointed out that long-term planning was required to groom the talent that could strengthen cricket at the grassroots level.

Jalaluddin’s Customs Cricket Academy (CCA) had joined hands with the PVCA in the year-long HBL School Boys Coaching Project that concluded with the presentation ceremony at the Karachi Gymkhana on June 10.

“We need to improve our coaching system at the lower level to prepare better brand of cricketers. Better quality cricketers for the future could not be guaranteed without launching such kind of long-term coaching programme,” he reckoned.

He lauded the contribution of Pakistan Veteran Cricket Association (PVCA) in selecting the 21 boys from their Inter-Schools competition last year for getting them enrolled for the coaching programme.
Jalaluddin, who holds the record of registering the first-ever hat-trick in One-day Internationals, believed that it was very important to provide the youngsters with the coaching facilities from the moment they take to the game.

“Coaching helps at every stage of one’s career but proper training and guidance at the beginning provides the athlete the best possible chance to succeed. Therefore we should mobilize our resources to groom the talented youngsters for which we need to patronize schools cricket in particular,” he added.

Those who attended the year-long training and got certificates included Saifullah Bangash, Ali Ahmed, Khurram Shahzad, M.Zarnab, Asad Ali, Faisal Tahir, Umair Arif, Faraz Ali, Jawad Alam, Farhan Anwar, Daniyal Mansoor, Omer Arshad, Hasnain Raza, Ahsan Mirza, Masood Zahoor, Junaid Ilyas, Fawad Khan, Faraz Baig. Jibran Ahmed, Sheraz Ali and Faraz Ahmed

Director PVCA and ex-President Karachi Gymkhana, Iqbal Umer, KCCA President, Syed Sirajul Islam Bukhari, and PVCA Secretary, Brig (Rtd) Salahuddin. also spoke on the occasion.

The ceremony was also attended by HBL SEVP Shahid Fakhuruddin, Sports Head, Abdul Raqueeb, former Test cricketers Sadiq Muhammad, Liaquat Ali, ex-Test umpire Mahbboob Shah, former Cricket Secretary, Karachi Gymkhana, Masroor Mirza, and other officials.

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Sindh Government completes hat-trick with hockey course launch


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Hockey has been at its lowest ebb in the country following the debacle in the World Cup earlier this year in which Pakistan finished last among the 12 participants. Since then a campaign has been orchestrated by the former hockey greats to oust the officials of the federation but no result has come so far.

There is a little difference between hockey and cricket as far as running their apex bodies in the country is concerned. While cricket, for the last year and a half, has been governed solely by Ijaz Butt there are two persons, not one, calling the shots on the hockey front during the same period.

Asif Bajwa, Secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), has been more in the spotlight for the wrong reasons because he wears far too many caps with the support and protection of his highly influential boss, Qasim Zia.

With the top PHF officials preoccupied in finding ways and means to counter the tirade against them in order to stay afloat, the vacuum has been filled by the Sports and Youth Affairs department of the Government of Sindh having recently launched a five-month long hockey course as part of the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Youth Development Programme (BBSYDP). The opening ceremony of the course was held at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium in Karachi on June 10.

Quite remarkably the proactive department, under the dynamic leadership of Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs to the Government of Sindh, has completed a hat-trick with the launch of the hockey course.

The provincial government, as part of the BBSYDP, has now initiated coaching courses in three games. Before turning to hockey they had started the courses for the cricket and football coaches.

It’s quite a monumental effort on part of the department to have undertaken three programmes simultaneously. All these three courses for the coaches have been launched in a matter of weeks. In fact hockey and football courses began on successive days.

They have made the right decision by engaging the respective controlling bodies of the game because it seemed the best way out to get the accredited coaches besides the top venue for this purpose.

One has to agree with Shoaib Siddiqui that coaching played a vital role in preparing and developing the skills of the athletes and the standard of the game can not be strengthened at the grassroots level without the involvement of the coaches.

The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, must feel satisfied over the fact that the sum of Rs 13 million he allocated for the project is being utilized in the manner it was desired and the coaching courses being organized in as many as three games will indeed help in sports promotion.

The participants in all the three courses are being paid a monthly stipend of Rs.6,000 with the outstation trainees getting a further Rs 3,000. Besides getting this amount they are also gaining the experience that would come handy in their career.

The Deputy Secretary Youth Affairs to Government of Sindh and Project Director, Saleem Ahmed Siddiqui, deserves to be complimented for having worked tirelessly to ensure the successful launch of all the three training courses.

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