Last week a grand event at the level of schools and colleges was the centerpiece of the sporting activities of Lahore. The Punjab Olympic Association (PbOA) was the host of the 6th inter-school, college games-2015. The competitions were held at different venues but opening and closing ceremonies were held at the Punjab Stadium.

According to the PbOA, around 3,000 school and college boys and girls took part in 30 different disciplines, making it a mega event at grassroots level. A good number of 250 schools and colleges, both running under government and private sectors, entered their athletes.

In the inter-college men’s category, a private entity, Punjab College with 1936 points, grabbed the first position, Government College Lahore, with 883 points remained runners-up.

In women’s section, the government sector held sway as Lahore College for Women University scored 1593 points to emerge as leaders followed by Kinnaird College (772 points) and Government Islamia College, Lahore Cantt, (303) as third.

In the school’s sector, private schools dominated. However, DPS Model Town got first position, but the two next positions went to private schools namely City School, Gurumangat, (699) and Don Basco English Medium (290).

In the inter-school games girls’ category, Adabistan Soophia School left the remaining opponents behind and got top spot with 648 points. Beaconhouse, Liberty, with 427 points and City School, Gurumangat, with 232 points finished second and third, respectively.

It was the first edition of the gala, in which the PbOA also got a full support from the Sports Board Punjab (SBP), which had provided all its venues.

PbOA Secretary Khwaja Idrees said the students of both private and public sectors showed a lot of enthusiasm for the extravaganza and he appealed to the SBP to also organise such activities at school and college levels as it was the real nursery to boost the sporting activities.

He said the best boy and girl of all the 30 disciplines were awarded with a cash prize of Rs5,000 each.

Anumber of cricketing stakeholders are bracing themselves up for a protest campaign for restoring net sessions after completion of a bridge in front of Minar-i-Pakistan.

The Iqbal Parks Complex has suffered a loss two years back because of the construction of a bridge in front of Minar-i-Pakistan.

The Iqbal Parks Complex is a historical venue, which has produced a good number of players, especially in cricket. But the provincial government had destroyed almost all the sporting infrastructure available there. Around 10 different clubs had their regular net session at the complex. Punjab Sports Minister Rana Mashood had promised that the government would restore the nets once it would complete the entire project, but nothing happened.

Mian Aslam, a retired ICC umpire, whose Muslim Gymkhana is one of the suffering parties, has prepared a protest programme starting from next week.

The Australian High Commission, Islamabad, organised a charity cricket match last week with the collaboration of the Lahore Gymkhana and Punjab Police at the Bagh-i-Jinnah ground to raise funds for the martyrs of Punjab Police, who lost their lives in the war against terrorism.

The match was played between Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Punjab Police, which the latter won comfortably with seven wickets. Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq made a special appearance and saw the match for some time, Pakistan women skipper Sana Mir played it for the AFP along with another national player Bismah Maroof. ‘Discarded’ Pakistan wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal also played for AFP.

Later at the prize-distribution ceremony, Margaret Adamson, Australian high commissioner, in her speech said the cricketing ties between the two countries would continue.

She was all praise for Pakistan’s efforts against terrorism. Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar M. Khan also visited the venue as chief guest.

After holding ITF Senior Tennis Tournament, the Punjab Lawn Tennis Association (PLTA) is gearing up to stage the national junior ranking tournament at Bagh-i-Jinnah courts in the coming week. Around 150 boys and girls from across the country are expected to take part in this five-day event ending on Nov 20.

PLTA Secretary Rashid Malik says his association has planned to organise six more national and provincial competitions in this season, but he is facing a lot of problems in attracting sponsors. He says without sponsors it will not be possible to promote sports.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2015