LAHORE - Provincial Minister for Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan Thursday revealed that the Punjab Youth Festival (PYF) 2014 broke all the previous record barriers and created history in the country’s sports just at its initial two stages of neighbourhood, village and union council levels.

The minister said this while speaking at a press conference held here at the Conference Hall of the National Hockey Stadium on Thursday. Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Director General Usman Anwar was also present on the occasion.

“The 2012 edition of the festival entered the Guinness Book of World (GWR) for a mass participation of over 3.3 million people during the entire activity but the Punjab Youth Festival 2014 recorded the participation of 3 million in just first two levels. The first level of the neighbourhood and village recorded participation of over 1.2 million people and now the PYF second stage registered the involvement of 1.8 million people in 2014,” he said.Mashhood said that the festival had revived sports culture in Pakistan. “The youth of the country, with the maximum and disciplined participation in different events of the PYF, proved that they are civilized and sports and peace loving nation.

“The survey, to convert the spare government lands into sports grounds, has been completed and soon these facilities will be provided at the grassroots level.”

He said the sincere efforts and hard work of all the organisers was appreciable who strived to make the event success. He added holding sporting events in the jails was also a big step taken by the govt to provide the prisoners better facilities to make them normal citizens. “The sentences of winners of different PYF events in jails will be reduced.”

To a query, he stated: “For transparency of the PYF, we have formed 11 committees and we will also welcome transparency international in this regard.” “We have been providing equal opportunities to all either rich or poor and I am pleased to disclose that most of the last event’s winners were those who even didn’t have shoes in their feet which shows true beauty of the festival,” he concluded.