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July 12, 2019

Inam holds wrestling talent hunt event today in Gujranwala


July 12, 2019

KARACHI: Besides having won several international medals for Pakistan in wrestling the country’s ace grappler and beach wrestling two-time world champion Mohammad Inam is also a genius organiser of wrestling.

In a step to hunt talent he is going to organise Inter-Club Wrestling Championship for the first time in Gujranwala, the hub of wrestling, on Friday (today). In the one-day event around 100 under-14 and under-20 grapplers from five clubs of Gujranwala, Lahore, Faisalabad and Sheikhupura will be showcasing their talent at the Shahbaz Sharif Sports Complex, Gujranwala.

“Yes, we are going to write history,” Inam told ‘The News’ from Gujranwala on Thursday. “Inter-city events have been regularly held but an inter-club event is being held for the first time. In the inter-city events only top wrestlers get an opportunity to showcase their talent but in the inter-club competitions the rest will also get chances to express themselves in a competitive environment,” the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist said.

“I opted to take the initiative after getting a nod from the Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF). The federation is very much with me in the whole mission. I gave a proposal of an inter-club event to the PWF secretary Arshad Sattar. He agreed and I am going to launch the inter-club event tomorrow,” said Inam, who will be the only Pakistani player to feature in the World Beach Games to be held in San Diego in October.

“We will take this event to other cities of Punjab which have exceptional talent. It will help create playing opportunities for the wrestlers who have the talent but are unable to move ahead due to lack of opportunities. Only a national event cannot create ample chances for many wrestlers,” Inam said.

“The cream of the event will then be taken to the college and university level. Our main effort is to manage free-of-cost admissions for our wrestlers on sports quota in colleges and universities across Punjab. This will help them not only flourish as wrestlers but they will also continue their education. You know education is too costly these days and a wrestler cannot afford quality education,” Inam said.

He said he sees a lot of talent on the streets of Punjab, particularly his own town Gujranwala. “There is an exceptional talent at colts and juniors levels here,” Inam said. “Mohammad Din, Inam Khalid and Ghulam Ghous are highly talented. I see around eight such wrestlers who can emerge as future world beaters. The main issue is not of talent but how to groom it. Looking after a talented boy demands a lot of resources. The talent needs consistent competition and quality training,” Inam said.

“Ghulam won a couple of medals in the 2017 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships. Mohammad Din and Inam Khalid finished fifth in the Asian Cadet Championship,” Inam said. He said Punjab Wrestling Association (PWA) would give them technical support. Gujranwala District Wrestling Association was also helping them, he added.

“I am also thankful to the District Sports Officer (DSO) Gujranwala Ayesha who has given us gymnasium for the event. We could not get sponsors but we will make an effort to encourage the winners with small prizes in various shapes,” Inam said.

“I sponsor this event and will continue to organise such competitions in future also. Our wrestlers need a lot of competitive action, particularly at the grassroots level,” Inam said. To a query, he said that Pakistan was not able to feature in international club events because in that case a club would have to bear all the expenses. “Our clubs are not financially strong,” Inam said.

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