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PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker government has approved Rs300 million to sponsor players for international events in all the games, particularly those who won medals in any edition of the under-23, Quaid-i-Azam and inter-provincial games.

This was disclosed by director general sports Junaid Khan while talking to mediapersons here on Monday. He said sponsoring the players for international events was actually part of the mega project launched in 2015 with the name of Under-23 Games. He said the project had been approved till 2022.

It is an historical moment for the players of KP that the summary submitted by the directorate of sports has been approved with an annual grant of Rs300 million, he said, lauding the role of secretary sports Mohammad Tariq Khan, former chief secretary Azam Khan and former chief minister Pervez Khattak for giving the project a go ahead.

Junaid Khan said the U-23 games were launched in 2016 at a cost of Rs30 million wherein initially 3,500 players, both boys and girls, took part; and in the second edition in 2017costing Rs75 million, the number of athletes increased to 8,500. He maintained that a record number of 11,500 players participated in the recently concluded third edition of the games 2018, costing Rs200 million. He said there were three major segments of the project –holding of U-23 games, award of sports scholarships to the budding and talented players and issuing of grant-in-aid to the players to get international exposures.

He said each year the facilities to the players in terms of cash awards, sports scholarships and approval of grant-in-aid would be increased to bring the KP sports on a par with Punjab and Sindh.

He said the provincial government had focused on organising healthy and productive activities for the youth.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2018