ABBOTTABAD: National squash players are going through tough army-style drills at the Army School of Physical Training in Kakul to improve their fitness level ahead of the 17th Asian (seniors) Squash Championship.
The championship will roll into action at the Mushaf Squash Complex in Islamabad from May 1.
“We have arranged the camp here to better equip our players for lengthier contests,” national head coach Jamshed Gul said on Monday.
The three-week-long camp set up by the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) at the Kakul Academy on March 27 will continue till Wednesday.
“After that we will move the camp to Sports Complex Islamabad,” Gul said.
He said players were undergoing physical training under the supervision of Army’s physical instructor Sajjad Shah besides practising at the Jahangir Khan Complex.
Gul said Pakistan players faced fitness problems despite being a talented lot.
“We have some very talented guys but they have fitness issues. But I am sure these drills will help them overcome their grey areas,” he said.
He was confident that the army-style drills would take the fitness level of national players close to that of international standards.
“These drills will not only make them physically stronger but also make them mentally tougher. I am sure soon we will be able to regain our lost glory in squash.”
He said that the Asian Squash Championship would help attract international squash to the country.
Sajjad emphasised that Pakistan players were talented and if they continued working with the same zeal and passion it would be tough for any side to beat them.
“The intense training they are getting here will take their fitness to a higher level,” he said.
“This is something very demanding. This is surely going to improve our stamina to stay on the courts for longer contests,” said squash player Farhan Mahboob.
So far nine countries including Malaysia, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq and Jordon have confirmed their participation in the championship.
Over 40 male and female players from these countries are expected to feature in the five-day extravaganza.
Pakistan being the hosts will have 12 players in this championship, including six female players.
The national men’s outfit will comprise Aamir Atlas, Farhan Mahboob, Nasir Iqbal, Danish Atlas and Ali Bukhari.
While the female team consists of Marya Toor, Rushna Mahboob, Zoya Khalid, Saima Shaukat, Rifat Khan and Samar Anjum.—APP