Need to promote sports

THE nation rightly gave heroic welcome to members of the national cricket team on their return home after historic win against arch-rivals India at London’s Oval Ground. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced hefty prize of Rs 10m for each member of the team besides Umrah package committed by Army Chief and plots and cash prize by real estate tycoon Malik Riaz. Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani has invited the team to Parliament House and the winning players would participate in a series of events throughout the country.
The team brought joy to otherwise gloomy home scene marred by terrorism, extremism, political polarisation, legal battles and dooms-day predictions by political pundits. A full-fledged campaign spread over months would not have projected Pakistan as positively as the cricket victory, which has helped promoted soft image of the country. Therefore, there is every reason to celebrate the win and honour those who brought laurels to the country. However, there is also need to draw up a comprehensive plan for promotion of different sports in the country down from village to national level. What a shame that we have a Minister to look after sports and also a Sports Board but we are unable to hold national games? No coordinated or sustained plan is in sight to promote sports despite the fact that these have the potential to project positive image of the country and mould youth energies for constructive and healthy pursuits. There is need to follow the footsteps of Faisalabad Municipal Corporation which has set up sports and culture committees to promote healthy activities, especially among the youth that will help alleviate negativism in their personality and develop sportsman spirit to fight odds in their life. If all civic bodies, education departments, federal and provincial departments and sports bodies play their due role the situation can change within a few years. The government should allocate more resources for sports and extend cooperation to sports federations in reviving their activities meaningfully.

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