Dear Media Friends,
We are delighted to inform that Pakistan Olympic Association which had managed to obtain the IOC Scholarship for its athletes, has disbursed Rs. 2.6 million as the first tranche of IOC Olympic Scholarship to following athletes:
1. Mr. Arshad Nadeem, Athletics (Javelin Throw) Rs. 521,250/-
2. Ms. Mahmoor Shahzad, Badminton Rs. 521,250/-
3. Mr. Nooh Dastagir Butt, Weightlifting Rs. 521,250/-
4. Mr. Muhammad Inam, Wrestling Rs. 521,250/-
5. Mr. Muhammad Bilal, Wrestling Rs. 521,250/-
POA is in process of issuing the remaining scholarships to the other 07 athletes who have been accepted by IOC for their scholarship on the recommendations of POA. We thank IOC for their support to the Athletes and we are sure it would go a long way in supporting them in improving their overall performance. The athletes have earned these scholarships by their performance through sheer dedication and hard work. In particular we wish to mention our female athletes. They have not only been consistently performing but have also been instrumental in promoting and encouraging women participation in sports in Pakistan. POA will continue to assist them for training and provide competition opportunities within whatever limited resources are available to us and through obtaining scholarships and grants from all concerned quarters. Lt. Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan, President Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) felicitated the Scholarship holders on the release of first tranche. The President also wished the very best to the athletes participating in the XXII Commonwealth Games, Birmingham. POA has ensured timely completion of all formalities necessary and, despite paucity of resources, has ensured the participation of even those athletes who had been prevented from participation. He appreciated National Sports Federations who from their personal resources are sending athlete support personnel. He emphasized that international participation is imperative for the professional betterment of athletes as it is a huge learning opportunity. He reiterated and reemphasized that POA shall continue to support athletes within the available resources so that the athletes can gain the experience through competing at the international level and thereby improving their own personal performance.
The athletes and officials are now leaving for XXII Commonwealth Games accompanied by a limited athlete support personnel. Mr. Fiaz Hussain Bukhari who was the coach with Arshad Nadeem during the Tokyo Olympics and was initially accredited had to dropped on the request of PSB as It was instructed by them that instead Mr. Terseus Libenberg (the South African coach) should be sent. POA, despite repeated requests, was not provided with necessary particulars of Mr Terseus Libenberg by the PSB. Well after the passage of accreditation deadline, PSB again requested for accreditation of another supposed coach, Mr Salman Butt but it was not possible being time barred. Under these circumstances, we are constrained to utilize services of another athlete support personnel to assist Mr. Arshad Nadeem and other athletes as technical delegate to secure entry into competition of Games. We are hopeful that Mr. Arshad Nadeem will be able to repeat his performance that he secured in absence of his personal coach at World Athletics Championship 2022. POA will continue to assist Mr. Arshad Nadeem financially and administratively directly.
It has also been learnt that some misleading reports are being circulated regarding participation of female athletes and non-technical coaches for the sports of athletics. We strongly refute these reports as all athletes have been entered after receiving their credentials from the concerned Departments i.e. Army Sports Directorate (National Champion in Athletics - Men) and WAPDA Sports Board (National Champion in Athletics - Women). For clarity it is further added that POA cannot entertain requests of any entity which has been found non-compliant with statutes and WADA Code as it may threaten participation of other Pakistani athletes in international competitions.
POA strongly believes that Sports Organization and their officials should not exploit performance of athlete(s) for their own personal political vested interests. Instead, our efforts should be diverted solely towards athlete well-being during these difficult economic times.
Muhammad Khalid Mahmood
Pakistan Olympic Association