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January 12, 2020

BOA planning to hold 34th National Games in August


January 12, 2020

KARACHI: Sports authorities of Balochistan are mulling the option of holding the 34th National Games in Quetta in August this year.

Sources in Balochistan Olympic Association (BOA) told ‘The News’ on Saturday that effort is being made to conduct the Games in August if there is no major international event during the same time-frame.

A meeting was also scheduled to be held between BOA and Balochistan’s sports secretary and Director General Sports in Quetta on Saturday but could not be held due to bad weather in the provincial capital.

However, it was learnt that a letter was sent to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) on Saturday in a bid to inform the NOC that Balochistan is interested in holding the 34th National Games in August if the time-frame suits the NOC.

Balochistan was scheduled to conduct the 33rd National Games but after a few postponements the POA opted last spring to shift that edition to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

KP organised that edition in November last year quite successfully.

While shifting the 33rd edition to KP, the POA had stated that Balochistan will host the 34th edition of the biennial spectacle some time in 2020 whenever the province is able to prepare for the vital competitions.

This correspondent learnt that the tartan-track is also being laid at the Ayub Stadium in Quetta. A source said that the company is confident to lay it by the end of March.

He said that August will be an ideal month for holding the Games as at that time the weather would be good in Quetta.

He, however, added that swimming pool could not be completed and the swimming event might either be held in Islamabad or Karachi.

BOA on Saturday also gave a list to the secretary sports’ personal secretary regarding the equipment which will be required for the competitions.

A huge amount of Rs 800 million had already been allocated by the Balochistan government for holding the 33rd National Games.

According to sources, the sailing event will be conducted in Gwadar. A shooting range is also being prepared in Quetta which will be utilised during the Games.

The BOA, meanwhile, is of the view that those events, which Quetta would not be able to host, will not be included in the list. However, sources said that the same thing will be decided after taking an input from the POA.

Regarding security arrangements for the event, a BOA source said that security provision is the responsibility of the provincial government.

“Such issues may happen any time but it depends on how the government makes its security plan,” the source said.

During Peshawar’s National Games last November, too, the Qayyum Sports Complex, hosting competitions in most of the disciplines, had been heavily guarded by the armed forces.

In 2010, Peshawar had hosted these Games despite the fact that the KP capital was vulnerable as bomb blasts in the city were routine during that time.

After squandering a chance to host the 33rd National Games last year, a BOA source said that the Balochistan government is now extra-serious in organising the 34th edition this year at any cost.

Quetta had been allotted the 33rd edition in 2012. However, due to funding and security issues the province could not hold the Games despite few years of struggle.