ISLAMABAD        -        Pakistan Intermediate Secondary Education Board Peshawar won the Pakistan Inter-Board Sports Gala 2020, which concluded here at Naseer Bunda Stadium on Wednesday. Faisalabad won the hockey title after beating Lahore 4-2 in the final. Peshawar Board claimed the third position. In hockey final, Faisalabad played well against Lahore and outperformed them by 4-2 with Kabir, Habib, Qayyum and Mudassar scoring one goal each for the champions while Emmad scored both goals from Lahore. Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza graced the closing ceremony as chief guest while Federal Information and Broadcasting Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani also arrived a bit late, as he was busy in official meeting, while PSB Deputy Director General Facilities Aga Amjadullah, Director Media M Azam Dar, Assisatnt Director Women Cell Shazia Ejaz, Coordinator Mohammad Ramzan Jamali, Organising Secretary Ghulam Shabbir Chana and others were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the participants of the Gala, Dr Fehmida said: “Sports are highly essential for youngsters for healthy minds and it is the government’s policy that more and more young people should be brought to sports and must be provided with the best facilities. “It is the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan that youth must be involved in sports and it is the need of the hour that when provinces prepare their budgets, they must allocate hefty amount for sports activities, so youth may get opportunities to showcase their skills at international stage and earn laurels in return.”

Dr Mirza further said, “Youth is not less than a great gift of Allah to Pakistan and it is the responsibility of the government to provide them with maximum opportunities, as when they represent the country in different sports events, it sends the message of unity and peace to entire world.

“More than 850 females and around 1100 male students took part in the sports gala in two phases, which is a great achievement. We will try to enhance sports budget and we are trying to host next South Asian Games in Pakistan, which is completely safe for hosting mega international events.” She further said, “The government will make it compulsory for schools to have their own playing grounds, while the PM is taking steps to provide sponsorships to athletes. I request all the sports federations to shun their differences for the sake of country and work as a unit to ensure Pakistani athletes take giant strides at international arena. Unless the federations don’t work to root out politics in sports, our athletes are bound to suffer. “Look at our 15-year–old youngster Hamza Khan, who won the prestigious British Junior U-15 title in Birmingham, England, while javelin thrower Arshad qualified directly for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in Japan. I also expect private sector to lend helping hand and play their due role in sponsoring the talent of Pakistan,” she added.

The IPC Minister stressed sports journalists to highlight positive image of the country, as their role is very important and if they present the positive picture of the PSB and IPC Ministry and give due coverage to athletes, it will help further improve the image of the country. “We are ready to extend the best facilities to the federations and all those, who want to contribute for the national cause while the PSB doors are always open for athletes, coaches and federations. The camps will soon be established for upcoming Olympics and other international commitments,” Dr Mirza concluded.