Grand Beach Games planned this year, patron`s post abolished: POA chief

KARACHI: The Pakistan Olympic Association will be holding the National Beach Games on an international scale in Karachi this year in which foreign teams and prominent personalities from the sports world will also be participating.

This was disclosed by POA president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan at a press conference held here at the Karachi Press Club on Monday.

Arif said the POA will take private and public sector organisation on board for the Beach Games and will be aiming to hold them on a better scale than the SAF Games held in Islamabad back in 2004.

Expressing his satisfaction at the Supreme Court`s recent decision to declare the POA as an entirely autonomous body, Arif said they have gladly dispensed with the patron-in-chief`s designation as it had no role in the organisation.

`Patron`s role in the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan Hocl(ey Federation is defined in their respective constitutions and he can exercise a lot of powers, but in POA, patron has no role to play really and that is why we have abolished it,` explained Arif.

He further said that the international Olympic Committee, under its Vision 2020 programme, has documented the need to emphasise on gender equality, dope testing and measures to check any kind of harassment and all affiliated organisa-tions have been asked to implement these measure and policies.

`Amendments have already been made in our POA Constitution to accommodate the IOC suggested instructions and measures and soon you will see their impact,` said Arif who was in the metropolis on a day`s visit.

Speaking about the staging of the National Games this year, he said Balochistan govt and association is keen to host the games in Quetta and have informed about the availability of infra-structure and the arrangements in the region.

`They (BOA) are keen to hold the National Games this time.However, going by the past experiences, unless we thoroughly check and approve the measures and infrastructure available in Quetta, we are not going to announce the Games,` said Arif.

When asl(ed about the PM`s task force and its coordination with POA, Arif said it is a good move that a force has been formed to analyse the sports problems and deficiencies but insisted that the task force must do its homework thoroughly before presentingits report.

To questions about his own extended term and the lack of medals coming Pakistani athletes` way, the POA president categorically stated that the POAwebsites clearly states `our role of arranging courses for the officials and sending the coaches and umpires abroad while the main area of development and grooming of athletes for any mega event is the job of the Pakistan Sports Board.

`So please donot blame the POA for this and these questions about only few medals coming Pakistan`s way of no proper training for the sportspersons should be directedtoPSB,`heconcluded.

POA executive committee member Waseem Hashmi, media adviser Asif Azeem and SFP chairperson Tehmina Asif were also present on the occasion.