‘Sports grounds to engage tribal youth in healthy activities’

Iftikhar Khan

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government would construct small sports grounds in 25 subdivisions of seven Tribal districts. The announcement was welcomed by tribal players however, they stressed it shouldn’t be a mere announcement like the past.

Asfandyar Khattak the KP director sports has said that these grounds will be provided all the basic facilities to the tribal players. The squash, badminton, tennis courts as well as hockey, football and cricket grounds will be constructed to provide opportunities in the tribal districts for healthy activities.

However, he said, It is not necessary to construct all type of grounds for all games in the very division for example if hockey is not being played in any particular area, there is no need to construct hockey ground there.

He added the district sports heads have been asked to identify venues for such grounds in all 25 subdivisions. The subdivision, where women players are available, they will also be provided with separate facilities.

The announcement of the construction of the ground was made by the KP government and it was also included in the budget of 2019-20. There is no dearth of talent in tribal areas as, so far, it has produced well-known players not only in cricket but also in other sports. They have earned laurels for the country at international level. However, players said that due to the unavailability of proper facilities, most of the talent go waste as the poor athletes can’t afford to visit other cities go further horn their talent.

That is why when the government has announced to provide such facilities it was warmly welcomed by the tribal sports players and expressed the hope that this time, the government will not disappoint them. Muhammad Nabi, who is Karate player, in Khyber said it will flourish the sports talent in all the tribal districts.

Nabi is taking part in different karate tournaments for the last 15 years. He has also secured four gold medals in national games and has also represented the country abroad. Nabi lamented that he has passed through very difficult times during his career due to the unavailability of facilities in tribal districts. He added that even after becoming a national champion, the government has not provided any support.

He said that it is much appreciated that now KP government has diverted attention towards the promotion of sports in the tribal belt. He maintained that sports indulge youth in healthy activities and prevent them from negative activities like drugs and crimes.

Besides sports grounds, the KP government also planning to organise different sports tournaments for which a committee has also been notified which include sportsmen and the officials from tribal districts.

A social activist from North Waziristan, Gul Habib Wazir, said that is much appreciated that the government is making efforts for the promotion of sports talent but stressed the need that before arranging sports events, the government should first talk to the local sports associations as they are well aware of the issues faced by the local players.

Due to the past unfulfilled process, Wazir expressed doubts over the new announcement of grounds on division level and said that announcements were also made in the past but very few have seen the light of the day.