KARACHI: Keeping in view the potential the country has in beach sporting events, Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) is going to hold the first edition of the National Beach Games, possibly this year, in Karachi.
POA President Lt General (retd) Syed Arif Hassan stated this at a reception hosted in his honour by the Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) and the Sindh sports department at a hotel on Wednesday night. “We want to hold National Beach Games because Pakistan has a lot of potential in it and if a little effort is made, I think we can make great progress. The dates and venue will be decided later,” Arif said after getting consent from Sindh Sports Minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah, who was hosting the reception.
Pakistan were ranked World No6 in the world as per 2009 world rankings in beach competitions. However, Pakistan did not feature in the 2011 World Beach Championships held in Turkey.
After organising the National Beach Games, efforts would be made to hold South Asian Beach Games and then Asian Beach Games at Karachi, the POA chief said. In order to decide a proper site for these games, the POA secretary Khalid Mehmood and treasurer Haji Mohammad Shafiq inspected different sites on the beach here on Thursday.
“We will start from a few disciplines and then the canvas will be expanded,” Arif said. The decision to introduce National Beach Games in the national calendar has already been made in the POA general body meeting.
He said that following devolution of the federal sports ministry a lot of responsibility rests on the federating units regarding promotion of sports. “The POA will help the federating units in terms of expertise and advice and I hope that the provinces will play their role effectively,” added Arif, who was elected as the POA chief for the third time on February 4 this year.
Olympian boxer Jan Mohammad Baloch, who is suffering from liver cancer, was also donated Rs500,000. Dr Shah congratulated Arif for being elected as the POA chief for the third time in a row. He also revealed that 100 volleyball courts would be inaugurated in Sindh simultaneously on March 1.