POA asks PSB for quick start of SAG training camps

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has cautioned Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) against worst-ever performance in case of any further delay in giving go ahead to start of national camps for Nepal South Asian Games starting from December 1.In a letter addressed to Director General Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) on Tuesday, secretary POA M Khalid Mehmood said that time left for training, preparations and participation in the 13th South Asian Games is very short.“Training camps for the purpose have not been established. The PSB is again requested to please take immediate measures to establish training camps and make necessary arrangements for participation in the Games. Kindly understand that if camps are not started on immediate basis, performance of our athletes may be worst ever.”This is the second letter the POA has written to the government. Only a month back, a letter was written to IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza, requesting her for required directives for the start of early training camps, yet no heed was paid.Players’ training is a continuous process. Only those sporting nations excel in international arena which plan and train well in advance. Results come following years and years of planning, investment, training and international exposure. Our neighbours India has already decided to target 2032 Olympics where they had already announced threatening the major sporting powers around the world.In Pakistan the planning and system is going from bad to worse. Government is not ready to spend a penny on sports promotion. The early 2000 is considered a golden era for Pakistan sports.In 2004 Pakistan outwitted India in many disciplines of the South Asian Games and had it not been to women disciplines, Pakistan looked all set to overpower their neighbours on the medals table.That was possible only after two years of extensive training and international exposure athletes put in prior to that Games held in Islamabad. With just four months to go for the start of the 13th South Asian Games, majority of the sports federations are trying to convince PSB for early start of camps. A few have been lucky enough to get the PSB backing that includes volleyball and athletics federations.When The News approached Arif Ibrahim, Director General PSB, he said that camps would be in full operation after Eidul Azha. “We have some problems. Some camps have already got under way and rest will be in operation after Eid. Even kabaddi and wrestling federations have approached us. All those that have yet to approach us must do that.” Pakistan are to participate in 26 different disciplines in the 13th edition of the SA Games and just catering the need of four federation athletes would never solve the issue. Besides hostel and food facilities, the government has always provided daily allowance to players and support staff during their stay at the campsWith the formation of PSB Executive Committee and General Council still pending, no one even the PSB high ups seems ready to bell the cat. “Those having the authority to sanction the required amount for the camp are reluctant to do that mainly because there is no Executive Council or General Council at their back to justify the sanction. That is why there has been an unprecedented delay,” a source within the Ministry when contacted, said.

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