Wednesday July 17, 2024

Arif's services commended at farewell event

By Alam Zeb Safi
July 06, 2024
Outgoing Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) chief Lt General (retd) Syed Arif Hassan.— The News/file
Outgoing Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) chief Lt General (retd) Syed Arif Hassan.— The News/file  

LAHORE: The outgoing Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) chief Lt General (retd) Syed Arif Hassan was on Friday accorded a warm farewell for the services he rendered during his two-decade long stay at the top of the country's national Olympic body.

The event was held under the auspices of the POA which was attended by the entire Olympic family from across the country. Arif served as POA chief from March 2003 to December 31, 2023.

Speaking on the occasion, Arif thanked all speakers for their love. "The way you honoured me is great. We spent a lot of time together, there are so many memories and if we sum it up I would say that it was a team work and I am proud of that," he said. "I have tried to work with transparency and whatever has been achieved I will give credit to the entire team," Arif said.

He also appreciated the hard work of the POA staff, saying he thanks all of them as they have done great work. "We always tried to focus on transparency and good governance. POA is one of those NOCs whose accounts details are on the website of the NOC. I thank the entire ExCo and general council for their outright support. I am very happy that we did not lack in women representation and we did that on quality basis," he said.

"Federations and General Council I thank your personally for everything. Your cooperation was exemplary," he said. "My innings came to an end and I learnt a lot along the way," Arif concluded. He was also presented a shield as a token of love and souvenirs from various associations.

Earlier, in his opening address the acting POA chief Syed Abid Qadri also paid tribute to Arif. "I am thankful to General Arif for accepting our invitation," Qadri said. "General Arif always treated juniors and seniors with love in his entire tenure. He also tackled tough issues and safeguarded Olympic Movement and resolved the complicated issues," Qadri said.

POA senior vice-president Syed Aqil Shah also paid tribute to Arif for his dedicated services for the Olympic Movement. "I have known him for four decades. Working with him was a pleasure and the way he took each and every member along was exceptional," said Shah, also a former KP sports minister. "His biggest achievement is that he saved Olympic Movement," he said.

Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob also appreciated Arif. "He was a man of many characteristics. He was down to earth despite being a former General," Yaqoob said. "He was a democratic personality. He used to take everyone and every unit into confidence before taking decisions on important issues," he said. Shaukat Javed said that Arif is second to none in Pakistan on sports management.

"Under his leadership two South Asian Games were conducted with discipline. His services have been acknowledged by the entire world and major sports governing bodies. He also introduced Sports Trust and that was a valuable effort," Shoukat Javed said.