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Media’s neglect of grassroots sports

May 30, 2013

I COME from a family where most of my kin have played some sport at the inter-school level, and an uncle who was the associate manager of the national hockey team at the London Olympics in 1948, where Pakistan lost the bronze medal to the Netherlands.

My father was one of the pioneers in modern-day women’s hockey, and did a wonderful job of promoting this sport in our community.

Being an administrator in the field of school sports for the last 24-odd years, it is very heartrending — and I am sure many will agree with me —that no recognition is given to our young athletes in the print media. Our media covers international, national, domestic zones and a few selected inter-school tournaments, which are just great.

Sports in our country are on a very low scale compared to other developing countries, and as the saying goes that ‘our youth are our future’, how can you promote our youth to brighten our future when they toil with sweat and blood to achieve their goal, but fade out when there is nothing to pursue.

How can scouting for talent be done when there is no media coverage? Recently, an interschool football tournament was televised live on PTV, hats off to them, but yet again there was no print media coverage.

As your newspaper is read by millions in Pakistan and the world over, it would be encouraging for our youth to have a special page or section to accommodate school sports.

I am sure this will boost our young talented sportsmen and sportswomen to compete even more because they all love to read about their achievements and feats, and so will their family members, friends and colleagues.