Regular camps to be set up ahead of CW, Asian games
Pakistan Sports Board director-general retired Col Asif Zaman has stressed on yearly basis training camps to produce strong teams for international competitions, as Commonwealth Games and Asian Games draw near.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8, while the 2022 Asain Games will take place in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to September 25.
“The camps must be held throughout the year for international competitions and it is the job of the national sports federations to hold camps and national championships in order to pick the best players for international contests,” Col Asif said.
Zaman admitted that the PSB had previously organized camps for all international contests, but said that the PSB had done so at the request of the federations. “Therefore, the federations should come up with their plans and the PSB will facilitate them by providing facilities,” he said.
“The federations have to generate maximum activities, and they have to do it at a fast pace. The PSB has also asked the provincial sports boards to increase their activities to pick the best talent from the grassroots,” the DG said.
The COVID-19 has hit Pakistan sports hard during the past two years, the DG said that the national sports federations had to follow strict rules while hosting the short or long-duration national camps.
The athletes’ preparations were further hampered by the uncertainty about whether any games — Commonwealth or Asian — would be conducted at the scheduled period due to Covid-19, according to the PSB director-general.
Col Asif further added that Pakistan is upgrading its infrastructure for hosting the upcoming South Asian Games.
“We are improving the infrastructure to hold the 2023 South Asian Games,” Col Asif said.
However, no stakeholders have come to meet on the point of deciding the venue for the South Asian Games.
The PSB and the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) are in conflict over the issue. The PSB wants to hold the entire gala event in Islamabad, whereas the POA wants to hold it in four Punjab cities — Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, and Lahore — believing that a large number of spectators will flock to the venues to watch the competitions, whereas Islamabad’s sports complex is likely to be dominated by government officials.
Athletes and international spectators from India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, according to the POA, may simply and affordably enter Pakistan across the Wagah Border, notably from Indian Punjab.
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