PESHAWAR: In order to remove the negative impact of terrorism from the society, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has focused attention on the provision of sports facilities to the people in different areas of the province to save the future of the new generation by involving them in positive and healthy activities.

Besides restoring the existing playgrounds, the government has also set up new facilities in various districts with a special focus on the development of the hitherto neglected areas to bring the people on a par with those from developed areas.

The records of the sports department showed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had a total of 114 playgrounds but they were in a shambles by and large.

However, the situation has improved over the last two and a half years due to the allocation of a good sum of funds.

Around 65 playing areas set up, existing ones revamped lately

Around 65 new playing facilities were recently established in the province, while the existing facilities were revamped to benefit youths in general and players in particular.

Of the total 114 facilities, 36 have been restored, while 65 new playgrounds have been established, especially in the area on need basis for the betterment of the physical and mental health of youths.

Many districts had no such facilities for youths in the past and even the facilities, which existed, were in bad shape due to militancy, flash floods and neglect of the relevant authorities.

Sixty-five new sports facilities have been established in Abbottabad’s Havelian and Khanpur tehsils, Bannu’s Domail and Bannu, Battagram’s Alai, Buner’s Mandan, Charsadda’s Abdul Wali Khan Sports Complex, Shabqadar, Tangi and Umerzai, Chitral’s Saidabad, Chitral, Booni and Kosht polo ground, Lower Dir’s Samar Bagh, Lal Qila, Balambat and Badminton Court in Khoongi Bala, DI Khan’s Kulachi, Paraova, Daraban, DI Khan and Paharpur Kacha Malikhel, Hangu’s Hangu, Togh Sarai and Anar China, Haripur’s Sarai Saleh, Ghazi and HCA Cricket Ground, Karak’s Banda Daud Shah, Karak and Takht-i-Nasarati and Badminton Hall in Karak city, Kohat’s Lachi , Babri Banda, Siyaab, Nandaraka, Gumbat, Khadezai and Togh Payan, Kohistan’s Pattan, Lakki Marat’s Sarai Naurang, Lakki and one volleyball court in Sarai Naurang, Mansehra’s Oghi, Mardan’s Takht Bhai, Katlang and Toru, Malakand’s Batkhela, Nowshera’s Pabbi, Nowshera, Jhangera and Khairabad, Peshawar’s Hayatabad Sports Complex, Swabi’s Chota Lahor, Topi and Ziada Playground (CMD), Swat’s Kabal, Babozai, Barikot, Khawazakhela, Charbagh and Makhan Bagh Mini Hall, Tank’s Tank and Town Hall Stadium, Torghar’s Hassanzai, and Shangla and Upper Dir.

The officials said management committees had been formed to look after the sports facilities and take steps for their maintenance on permanent basis.

They said the involvement of the local government’s representative to ensure the proper use of playgrounds was a big task and therefore, seven awareness workshops were conducted to form the grounds management and monitoring committees at tehsil, school and college, district and provincial levels.

The officials said the playgrounds were built either on private or school and college land and therefore, it had been ensured that headmasters and principals of the relevant educational institutions were taken on board.

They said the sports minister and secretary, DG (sports), director sports (female), director (operation) and noted players were part of the management committees, wherein the nazim, naib nazim, tehsil council, AC, TMO, DSO, youth councillor and two prominent players and headmasters/principals would look after the relevant committees.

The officials said the committees would examine the management of the playgrounds, including maintenance and entry fee, keeping in view of the purchasing power of the people of that particular area, game and interest wise schedule.

They added that the committee would have its account in the National Bank of Pakistan or Bank of Khyber with two signatories.

Provincial DG (sports) Junaid Khan told Dawn that KP had produced seven World Squash Champions, Olympians, legendary footballers, athletes and wrestlers, 26 international and test cricketers, and scores of international sports players.

“For the recent Under 23 Games, first held at district and later at regional levels, many of the 65 new facilities were utilised,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2017