Ahead of the National Games, a SOA delegation will meet with a top Sindh official tomorrow

KARACHI: On Wednesday (tomorrow), a two-member SOA delegation will meet with Sindh Sports Secretary Hafiz Abdul Hadi Bullo to discuss the province’s participation in the 34th National Games, which will be held in Quetta from May 15 to 23.

Ahmed Ali Rajput, secretary of SOA, and Asghar Baloch, associate secretary, will be part of the delegation.

Rajput stated to “The News” on Monday, “Yes, we will meet secretary sports on Wednesday and will also submit the budget document required for ensuring Sindh’s participation in the Games.”

“We are dealing with the spending plan and ideally the common government will uphold the reason as it is a vital occasion and for that we ought to set up our contingent well,” said Rajput, who has a heap of involvement of working in the SOA.

He stated that rising inflation will undoubtedly necessitate additional funds.

We had spent approximately Rs10 million to send our team to the Peshawar National Games in 2019. Due to inflation, significantly more money will be required this time. Trials, bags and kits, etc., will cost money. We will send at least 400 soldiers, and if we provide them with facilities, we will need a lot of them, Rajput stated.

He stated that he has already instructed each organization to begin planning for the quadrennial event.

“You are aware that Ramadan is also coming up, but we will need to use this month for training as well. If we are to compete with the other provinces, particularly Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which prepare well, you know that a minimum of two months of training will be required,” Rajput stated.

I will send a second letter to each organization whose teams will compete in the Games in a few days. Additionally, we intend to hold a SOA Executive Committee meeting in a few days to discuss a variety of Games-related topics, added Rajput.

He made it abundantly clear that Sindh’s team will compete in each and every one of the 31 regular sports. He stated that the provincial government does not provide annual grants to the provincial sports associations.

Rajput recalled that associations only received annual grants during the time of the late Dr. Mohammad Ali Shah, the former Sindh Sports Minister. He stated that they will attempt to transport the contingent by bus this time to Quetta and will avoid the train trip this time because it is too hectic for the athletes.

Rajput stated that the associations already have some equipment, but they would need to purchase more. Rajput stated that because women would compete in the majority of the sports, the ratio of female athletes would be high.

Sindh won two gold medals, nine silver medals, and 34 bronze medals at the 2019 National Games in Peshawar. During the Games, the provincial and regional contingents will receive daily allowances and housing from the Balochistan government in accordance with the rules. The other costs will be borne by the contingents themselves.

The venue committee of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) recently visited Quetta and expressed its satisfaction with the Games’ facilities. In a few days, a POA security delegation is also due. It is pertinent to mention that the 33rd Games were awarded to Balochistan in 2012, but the province was unable to host them for a variety of reasons.

The Games were then moved to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2019, where they did very well. However, at the time, Balochistan was informed that it could host the 34th edition when it was ready. Balochistan hosted an exhibition cricket match between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi on February 5 at the Bugti Stadium, and both the civil and military leadership of the country are eager to host the Games in May.

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