Athletics, the mother of all sports, most astonishingly could not find a place among the 15 disciplines of priority one picked by the top hierarchy of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for doling out annual grants for fiscal years 2010-11 and 2011-12, reveals an official document a copy of which is available with Dawn.
The PSB had slotted 37 disciplines — 15 in priority one, 15 in priority two and the rest of seven in priority three for the disbursement of over Rs34,848,000 to various national sports federations in fiscal years 2010-11 and estimated Rs37,850,000 in 2011-12.
It sounds strange that a number of disciplines having less or no credentials were preferred over athletics in which Pakistan once ruled in Asia.
Handball, softball, judo, karate, taekwondo, wushu and kabaddi are some of the disciplines which were oddly included in priority one without much merit.
Secondly, some disciplines that were dropped by the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) from the forthcoming National Games due to alleged existing disputes, also feature among the list of federations receiving the grants.
In addition to the actual annual grants, special grants of Rs23,760,000 was dispersed among 34 federations in 2010-11 and 25,000,000 in 2011-12.
Athletics, however, received just Rs0.6 million as special grant in 2010-11 and a similar grant in two installments — Rs0.4 million and Rs0.2 million — in 2011-12.
Hockey has received a big chunk of Rs3.2 million grant in 2010-11 and a similar grant in 2011-12 apart from the Rs3.8m special grants in 2010-11 and Rs1.8m in 2011-12.