Pakistan is a country where heroes are born. This time, it has been blessed with talented and heroic athletes like Nooh Dastageer, Inam Butt, Mahoor Shahzad, Arshad Nadeem, and others.
They have hosted the national flag and anthem in sports that are unknown to the whole nation. The picture goes bleak when it is known that they have not been fully sponsored by the government. However, they have shown courage and determination which will lead as a symbol for the young generation to adopt these games as a career.
On one hand, it is welcoming that our national stars are shining at an international level and winning medals for Pakistan.
As far as Common Wealth Games 2022 (CWG) is concerned, Pakistan has won 2 Gold, 3 Silver, and 3 Bronze so far. Nooh Dastagir (Weightlifting) and Arshad Nadeem (Athletics) won Gold, Muhammad Inam, Zaman Anwer, and Sharif Tahir (Wrestling) triumphed over Silvers and Shah Hussain Shah (Judo), Inayat Ullah and Ali Asad (Wrestling) earned Bronze respectively.
Moreover, Pakistan’s Shajar Abbas reach till finals of the Sprint but unfortunately could make a medal. Our badminton team played well and hope they will also add up some medals to the tally in the coming game. All in all, the Wrestling team has played superbly as five out of six have medals for the country. This proves Pakistan has great potential in wrestling, and they can win over it a great deal in the future.
On the other hand, these athletes have gone a long way without any financial and technical support. Neither all of them have coaches nor International facilities to compete at the international level. Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) is unable to fund all of them. whether they have taken self-based assistance or they are locally or sponsored.
Moreover, due to financial hardship, some of the best athletes are unable to participate in the events which results in demotivation and discouragement.
If other games than cricket are discussed then it does not look well. Pakistan has lost its charm on the ground of hockey: the national game of Pakistan, and the most times (4-times) winning the hockey world cup is unable to perform well now; squash, where Pakistan dominated the world for decades; football, Pakistan used to win over Asian giants now faces a ruthless time and was banned by FIFA.
Furthermore, badminton, Judo, Wrestling, Swimming, Track and Field, Jumping, and many more games lost their charm to the public as well as PSB. PSB handles 41 Federations in it; contrary, mismanagement, corruption, political differences, and improper marketing have caused dragging down federations and people’s interests.
Nonetheless, the Pakistan Sports Board can promote sports through a public-private partnership, and sponsorships. Apart from it, schools, colleges, and universities are the breadbaskets for promoting sports.
Nowadays, sports are fewer in educational institutions which results in a decline in other sports than cricket. Different sports like hockey, football, boxing, badminton, squash, track and field, and others must be made compulsory to pass an academic year. This process not only helps to grow students physically but also mentally.
Moreover, sports also build helping strong leaders and leadership qualities in a person. One more important aspect that can help people to drag into sports is earning. The greatest reason why people like cricket is because it has money. If other sports have money then how do people resist going? PSB should also seek some international athlete associations that can help develop sports in Pakistan. Last but most important, a sports accountability body should be set up to discourage corruption and encourage safe and sound sports for everyone.
To cut short, Pakistan has great potential in every sport as is seen in CWGs. It just needs to explore more grounds, financial support, and a regulatory body that provides opportunities and facilities to the people and improves the sporting culture so that the masses will have healthy minds with beautiful bodies.