ISLAMABAD: The Quaid-i-Azam Inter-provincial Youth Games opened amid an impressive ceremony here at the Pakistan Sports Complex on Monday.
PML-N Chairman Raja Zafar-ul-Haq inaugurated the Games during the ceremony held at the Liaquat Gymnasium that also saw razzmatazz of singers Sanam Marvi and Malku.
The ceremony, featuring a large number of fans, was attended also by Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada and former and current sportspersons.
Legendary hockey Olympian Shahbaz Ahmed Senior lit the flame during the ceremony.
The Quaid-i-Azam Inter-provincial Youth Games are meant to provide a platform to young athletes to have sporting activities as well.
Around 3700 athletes, male and female, and officials from four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad, Fata and Azad Jammu and Kashmir will be competing in various disciplines during the Games that will concluded on Dec 29.
Speaking on the occasion, Senator Haq said healthy activities like the Quaid-i-Azam Youth Games play a crucial role in the overall mental development of the society.
“Pakistan has loads of [sports] talent. However, [in order to utilise this talent] planned and sincere efforts are needed so that the country’s status in international sports can be regained,” he emphasised.
“In the past we were unbeatable in sports like squash and hockey. In cricket too we had a high standard. However, [now] our standards have gone down because merit was trampled,” noted the senator.
“Pakistan can once again rise if sports activities are revived in schools and clubs.”
He congratulated the IPC Ministry and the Pakistan Sports Board on holding the Quaid-i-Azam Youth Gaems.
Pirzada said all the provinces and administrative units of the federation were participating in the Games in big numbers and sharing the slice of joy and cheers.
He hoped the Games would also paint a soft image of the country at national and international levels and show a ray of hope to the terrorism-hit nation. “These Games have also provided a unique opportunity of interaction among the youth from all parts of the country.”
On Monday, competitions were held in following disciplines:
Men: athletics, badminton, baseball, football, hockey, judo, karate, netball, squash, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, boxing, kabaddi circle, snooker, weightlifting, wrestling, Wushu
Women: Athletics, badminton, baseball, football, hockey, judo, karate, netball, squash, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, wushu.
Published in Dawn, December 26th, 2017