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14th South Asian Games: PSF seeks Rs300m for squash infrastructure, teams training

Sports

July 9, 2020

ISLAMABAD: As the government has earmarked Rs3,060 million for the upgradation of facilities that will be used for the forthcoming 14th South Asian Games, the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Wednesday requested the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) to release Rs300 million so that infrastructure and team formation could be ready for the event.

Pakistan has been allotted the Games for third time and the 14th edition will be held in early 2022.

The preparations in this regard have already begun so that infrastructure could be improved according to international standard. Squash is expected to attract huge attention in the Games as India is making strides to challenge Pakistan’s supremacy.

The PSF has chalked out a plan to help the government develop infrastructure and prepare men and women’s gold-medal winning teams.

“We have sent a request to the government as we would be needing Rs300 million for developing squash infrastructure, hiring of coaches and giving teams sufficient international exposure. Moreover, a training camp has also been planned to make the best use of the available time. All the expenditures have been included in the breakup,” a well-placed source in the federation told ‘The News’.

The PSF is wanting to have complete overhaul of the Mushaf Ali Mir complex.

“When it comes to infrastructure development, we need to upgrade existing facilities in Islamabad and Peshawar. The government also earmarked a set amount for the upgradation of facilities in Peshawar. The PSF’s facilities in Peshawar also require renovation. We have to hire coaches to train men and women probables for the Games. So far the PAF was looking after the whole expenditures. Now we also need government’s support in this regard. To develop squash infrastructure, specialists’ services for upgradation work are needed as an ordinary contractor cannot raise a squash court according to international requirements. So there is a need to carry out work on infrastructure under the guidance of experts and we hope the government would realise urgency of the matter,” a PSF official, when contacted, said.

He added that a single tour abroad usually cost the PSF around Rs4 million. “This time Pakistan juniors’ performance at the British Open had been outstanding. Hamza Khan won the title and others went close to winning it. The performance was a result of heavy investment in the game by the PAF. Due to the efforts of the PAF the game of squash is alive in the country. British Open is just one event of its kind, usually we send different teams abroad almost six to seven times a year. It is a heavy investment but we have not been able to get full grant from the government as it stands at Rs3 million per annum. We got only Rs1.5 million after a long wait of three years. So one can easily understand our plight and circumstances under which we are maintaining top standards at Asian level.”