We need right decisions at the earliest. Only then will we be able to show improvement in future international assignments
Pakistan's government should make a solid plan to prepare the elite lots for next year's Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I have been covering sports for the last two decades but very rarely have I seen the country's sports governing bodies planning ambitiously for major events. We have very good weather for the next few months and a good plan should be made in order to excel in those disciplines in which we have good chances of winning medals.I have been in constant touch with the federal government's functionaries as well as with the top officials of federations but I feel that nothing solid is being done in that direction.
In wrestling, weightlifting, judo, athletics and to some extent in hockey we can do well in the Commonwealth Games which are slated to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.
We also have chances of medals in javelin throw (Arshad Nadeem), karate (Saadi Abbas), squash, weightlifting, wrestling and kabaddi in the Asian Games which will be held in September in China.
Two things should be taken under consideration by the government and federations to make preparatory plans for these two major assignments. The recruitment of foreign coaches and foreign training tours are very important. We have been unable to focus on these two areas for the last few years. There has always been a budget for foreign coaches but never properly utilised.
In most disciplines we don't have quality home-grown coaches, so we direly need foreign coaches. Although the PSB claims that it is ready to help federations in hiring foreign coaches, the process is slow.
Some federations have spent a lot on foreign tours during the last two years. I don't think the government will be able any time soon to reimburse that amount.
Federations have no capacity to manage foreign tours and hire foreign coaches on their own.
The government should make its best effort to meet these two requirements of federations.
Training at home is not enough. We must create opportunities for our budding athletes to train on foreign soil and play against the best athletes which is the only way to create medal chances in major international events.
Good planning will help us prepare for the Islamic Games and South Asian Games. The latter is to be hosted by Pakistan in early 2023. This will help our athletes get solid experience before featuring in the 2024 Paris Olympics Qualifiers.
Lack of resources has hurt our sports a lot. In the past, especially when Akhtar Ganjera was the head of the PSB, national athletes used to get long camps, foreign tours and foreign coaches.
The current DG PSB Col (retd) Mohammad Asif Zaman, who has been a former squash player, should focus on disciplines in which we could earn medals in international circuit.
We should have held all camps by now but it is unfortunate that we have no solid plan.
The IPC minister Dr Fehmida Mirza has merely two more years and it's time for her to serve athletes in the most effective way.
In some disciplines we have been unable to give good exposure to our athletes because of the lack of resources.
In wushu we have a good record in the Asian Games but who will back the discipline? I am convinced that the Pakistan Wushu Federation cannot send its fighters for foreign training ahead of Asiad due to lack of resources.
These federations should be properly backed so that their players could earn medals in these events.
We will need to make quick and right decisions at the earliest and only then will we be able to do something better in these major events.