KARACHI: A meeting of the Sports Commission of Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) is expected to be held next week in Lahore to discuss issues pertaining to the forthcoming National Games.
“I am in contact with all the members and hopefully the meeting will be convened next week,” POA secretary Khalid Mehmood told ‘The News’ on Monday.The POA senior vice-president Syed Aqil Shah heads the commission, which includes Chaudhry Yaqoob and Ahmed Ali Rajput.
A senior member of the commission told this correspondent that strength of the athletes would come under discussion at the meeting. The Games are to be held in Quetta from October 7-14. He said that it was important to hold the Games as per finalised schedule. There would be no appropriate time after these dates, he added.
“We have visited different venues and have compiled a report which will be submitted to the Balochistan Sports Board (BSB) tomorrow,” a senior official of Balochistan Olympic Association (BOA) told ‘The News’ from Quetta on Monday.
“After knowing about the status of the venues the provincial sports board will work on the areas which need improvement ahead of the competitions,” the official said. He said that Bugti Cricket Stadium would host the opening and closing ceremonies of the country’s biennial spectacle which was to be held last year but was postponed due to security issues.
“Bugti Stadium has a grassy field, a fine seating arrangement and is appropriate for the ceremonies,” the official claimed.The BOA official said that because of a lack of proper facilities in Quetta, the swimming event would be held at the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad, while sailing would be held in Karachi.
“For shooting, we have no machines for skeet and trap events. We will check from the National Rifles Association of Pakistan (NRAP) if it could provide such equipment. If it can then we can hold it here. Otherwise, it will be conducted in Karachi,” the official said.
This will be the fourth time that National Games will be conducted in Quetta. The official said that Army had pledged to make security arrangements for the competitions.
An official of a major department said that security might be an issue. “In the past, too, the Games had to be postponed and it may happen again. It would be a big loss for the departments as they spend quite a lot of money on preparations,” the official said.
The BOA official said that he had suggested to the POA that departments also should conduct National Games. “Why only provinces should hold National Games. The major departments have the resources. We would like to see how they hold such a major competition,” the official said.