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April 1, 2020

POA launches campaign to help needy athletes: Arif

Sports

April 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has decided to launch door to door efforts, calling on all the active national athletes to help in making sure no former athlete belonging to all recognized federation stay without necessities of life during lockdown period.

Talking to ‘The News’, President POA Lt-Gen (retd) Arif Hasan confirmed to The News that all federations affiliated with the national associations have been asked to streamline the affairs for reaching doorsteps of all former needy athletes. “POA has decided to launch door to door efforts with the help of available national athletes in making sure that no former national or international athlete stay without the necessaries of daily life during this period of uncertainty. This programme will be launched with the help and cooperation of the federations affiliated with the POA. These federations have been asked to collect all the data of all former athletes-which I am sure will be them and ensure that they get all those essentials of life which they require. The necessities of life will be provided to them. I have already talked to federations’ representatives and further discussion is being carried out.”

POA president said that like every segment of society, sports had been the worst hit area. “All sports activities not only in Pakistan but around the world have come to standstill. Till the time these activities get under way, active athletes have a role to play for their athletes. Being the most active, fit and energetic lot of society, these athletes would surely come forward and play their role in helping not only former athletes but also for the general masses as well.”

The POA president also called on these active young athletes to also extend help in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to reach to doorstep of poor and needy. “Whatever they can do in that respect, I am sure they would and contribute to this noble cause.”

When questioned as from where the necessary funds would be generated to help former athletes and players in this trying period, POA president said a number of rich and well off individuals were already in contact with the national association for the purpose. “There is no dearth of individuals who want to contribute for such a cause. Once we complete the data of athletes requiring the aid and help during this period we would start the process.”

When asked on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) contribution in this respect, he said that international body had already been facing tough times in wake of Olympic postponement and other relational events cancellation. “These days are also tough for IOC. We are in touch with some people who want to help and hopefully our requirements according to federations recommendations will be met.” The POA also plans to have video conference with federations in coming days to accelerate efforts in this respect. “We have already taken up the matter with some federations and further discussion is also on card through video conference in coming days.”