LAHORE: Sixteen teams are participating in the Engro 52nd National Volleyball Championship, whose official logo was launched at an impressive ceremony held here on Tuesday.

Teams from Army, Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Wapda, Police, Railways, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh, Islamabad, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, POF Wah, Higher Education Commission and Pakistan Board will feature in the event being held at the Gymnasium’ Hall in Lahore from Nov 27 to Dec 4.

Speaking at a press conference, Pakistan Volleyball Federation chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob about the championship said some incentives for players and winning teams would also be at stake, adding professional incentives would be offered to players when the PVF soon launches its professional league.

“The PVF has a good team to get sponsors and the [planned] league, which will be a replica of Pakistan Super League (PSL), will attract a number of foreign players,” he said.

Pakistan, the PVF chairman reckoned, have all the potential to qualify for the Olympics, provided the government as well as media and sponsors support volleyball.

Chaudhry Yaqoob claimed that Pakistan players have the fitness level and technique possessed by world’s leading volleyball-playing countries, noting the country now are seventh in Asia and 39th in the world rankings.

When asked to comment on the likely impact of the present government’s decision to abolish sports departments from the public sector on the sport, he said several top volleyball players from Wapda, Railways, Police, HEC, Pakistan Board would be affected due to this policy.

It may be mentioned here that the same policy was not implemented on Army, Navy and PAF.

Chaudhry Yaqoob hoped the government, in the larger national interest, will withdraw the policy of abolishing sports departments.

Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2021

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