ISLAMABAD - Re-appointed Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera has promised to provide more funds and facilities to athletes for their training at home and abroad.

Talking to The Nation, Ganjera said: “I am grateful to IPC minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and secretary Ejaz Chaudhry for posing confidence in my abilities and stands by my side during hard times. I am also thankful to Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk and Justice Dost M Khan for allowing me to continue work as PSB DG. I always believe in working for a cause and my main aim is to take Pakistan sports to new heights.

“I have ordered to establish camps and soon the PSB will be filled with athletes and coaches. Already camps of wrestling and wushu have been started while other camps will start from August 13, as Allama Iqbal hostel kitchen renovation work is near to completion,” he added.

He said: “I congratulate Special athletes of Pakistan for showing their wonderful skills and winning such amount of medals for the country. We have provided them best facilities and now will host a grand reception in their honor soon.”

When asked any cash rewards would be handed to the medal winners, Ganjera replied: “I would talk with IPC minister in this regard and request him to allocate special grant for the proud sons and daughters of the country who raised green flag in Los Angles.”

To a query regarding laying down of new astro-turf at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium, the PSB DG replied: “The IPC minister had already sanctioned blue astro-turf for Naseer Bunda Stadium and it is my promise the work will be completed during present fiscal year and our heroes will be able to start training within next couple of months. I fully realise astro-turf should have been replaced much earlier, but we have to follow rules and proper procedure.”

When asked about progress regarding action on IPC hockey probe committee’s recommendations, Ganjera said: “The fact finding committee has finalized its report and now the ball is in the prime minister’s court. I am sure hockey affairs will be streamlined soon and once again green shirts will rule hockey world and start winning medals.”

When asked about when Quaid-e-Azam Inter Provincial Games would take place and how many athletes are expected to appear in them, Ganjera said: “We have proposed mid September dates for the games and expecting around 2500 to 3000 male and female athletes from across the country.

We are ensuring the games will be contested amongst genuine youth and we have proposed athletes age must not exceed from 21 years, as we want fresh athletes to come forward who may be polished and groomed to represent the country at international stage.”

“We have significant breakthrough in reviving international sports in Pakistan as our dearest friends China will send 22-member badminton team, comprising both male and female players and two coaches, from August 31 and they will depart on September 4. It will be coaching-cum playing tour and they will play against our top badminton players while top national players will attend the camp. It is a great help by Chinese government and we have also a sports exchange programme with them. We are looking forward to arrange more sporting events through this exchange programme in near future, which will benefit both sides of players,” Ganjera concluded.