LAHORE: International Olympic Committee president H.E. Mr. Thomas Bach, in his message at the first Athletes Forum 2020 here on Saturday, said he is delighted at the organisation of athlete centric forum and congratulated National Olympic Committee, Pakistan’s Athletes Commission for the historic gathering of athletes.
“Athletes are not only at the heart, athletes are the heart of our Olympic community,” said Bach and appreciated Pakistan for taking the lead in communicating about the implications of Athletes Declaration.
He admired the athletes of Pakistan for sending a strong message of confidence and optimism from Pakistan to the world whether in sports or in facing challenges in lives. “We are stronger together,” he said.
The participants expressed their gratitude to H.E Thomas Bach for sharing his message with the athletes that will continue to resonate for times to come as encouragement.
The athletes were presented a lecture of Prof. Dr. Stephan Wassong, President Committee International Pierre de Coubertin, informing the participants about the origins and objectives of Olympic Movement as was envisioned by Barron Pierre de Coubertin Father of modern Olympics.
Dr. Wassong shed light on the link between greek antiquity of modern Olympics and the key element of educational value of sports that was the vision of Pierre de Coubertin on the Olympic Role Model.
The prime of the event “Athletes” were presented with informative lectures by the NOC Pakistan’s experts. Dr. Asad Abbas Shah presented the audience with Protocols of Sports during Covid-19, nutrition and enhancement of immune system to fight against coronavirus.
Dr. Lubna Sibtain, the mother of Olympian Rubab Raza, shared her experience of grooming an Olympian and how she is working for eliminating doping from national sports. A combo of former and current athletes consisting of Sumera Sattar, Muhammad Inam Butt and Asma Akram informed the athletes about their rights and measures athletes should take to exercise their rights.
Retired Lt. Gen Muzammil Hussain inaugurated the forum and his remarks applauded the gathering of athletes and the objective of the gathering. He stated that physical strength leads to mental strength that builds the community stronger.
President POA Lt Gen (r) Arif Hasan, speaking on the occasion, said that a better training environment can boost the athletes’ performance and we have gathered here to discuss the betterment of athletes in every way.
Retired Col Mudassar Asghar and Olympian Manzoor-ul-Hassan were also present to encourage the athletes. Brig. Zaheer Akhtar and Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqoob chaired the sessions.
Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2020