ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan’s top taekwondo player Najia Rasool Khan has said that she is keen to establish an international taekwondo academy especially for girls at her home town Muzaffargarh and Islamabad to produce champions for the country.

Talking to The Nation, Najia, who is also conferred with Pride of Performance last year for her outstanding contributions towards taekwondo, said she has unique honour of contesting for World Athletes Commission elections: “I am thankful to Almighty that my selection was done for such high-profile event, where the world’s best including the Olympians were contesting. I am also grateful to Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTWF), PSB DG Arif Ibrahim, Director Hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussain, DDG Facilities Agha Amjedullah for providing us with best facilities at Pakistan Sports Complex.

“Although I could not get selected as World Athletes Commission member, as they preferred Olympians and mega stars, but it was wonderful experience and I had learnt a great deal,” she added.

Najia said that she has honour of winning a number of international medals for Pakistan and keen to earn more laurels for the country. “I had represented Army in my career. Whatever I am today is just because of Almighty and then my department, which supported me a lot. I can’t fight these days, as both of my knees are badly damaged and whenever I practice hard, it injures my knees badly. I can barley move and fighting hard to overcome this problem.

“I have started coaching my fellow players and youngsters because Pakistan is facing acute shortage of female coaches. I am 5th Dan, as no female in Pakistan has achieved 5th Dan before me. I have also done number international coaching courses and also did referee courses internationally, besides winning six international medals, including three silver and as many bronze medals, I have made my mind to impart my knowledge and vast experience to the youngsters.

“During my professional career, I have faced a lot of problems, so the basic aim of becoming a coach and instructor is to provide girls a home-like feeling, as they need female coaches and instructors. I have a lot of offers from colleges, schools, universities and private clubs and they offer me coaching job, but I have made up my mind to serve the country at higher level.

“I trained juniors for the world championships and among them, nine won silver and bronze medals in international events. But due to shortage of time, no proper camps were conducted, otherwise the same lot could earn international gold medals,” she added.

“I am also trying to meet IPC Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza to request her to allocate some space where I may start my academy. I have lot of future plans for the boys and girls and I want to transform youth of the country into international champions,” Najia concluded.