School Olympics enliven the skyline of South Punjab

LAHORE: Punjab School Education Minister Murad Raas on Tuesday inaugurated a five-day School Olympics at Qila Kuhna Qasim Bagh in Multan.

The South Punjab School Education Department is organizing the event which has been modeled after the International Olympics. No less than 1,900 athletes (students) from 11 districts of South Punjab – Khanewal, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Lodhran, Rajanpur, Layyah, Bahawalnagar and DG Khan – and parts of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir compete in football, hockey, badminton, table tennis, volleyball and athletics. Girls participate in all games except football.

The department has selected separate venues for boys and girls. Draws for games will be conducted on separate grounds. Football will be played at Divisional Sports Ground, Hockey at Multan Hockey Stadium, Matital Road, Badminton, Table Tennis and Volleyball (Girls) at Government Girls Comprehensive School, Gulgasht Colony, Badminton and table tennis (boys) at the Sports Gymnasium Departmental Sports Ground, Multan, volleyball (boys) and athletics (boys and girls) at the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE).

Athletics includes 400m run, high jump, 100m run, discus throw, 800m run, long jump, javelin throw, triple jump and shot put . The final of the games will be played on November 12 and the prizes will be distributed to the winners during a ceremony.

Speaking about the School Hockey League and the School Olympics, Murad Raas said the initiative would help restore the sport to educational institutions and create a nursery to prepare players of international quality. He said the games would also help distract children from computers, games, cell phones and other such electronic devices.

He said the school Olympics would soon be recognized nationally.

South Punjab School Education Department Secretary Dr Ehtasham Anwar said hundreds of girls and boys were taking part in the mega event for which all venues were tastefully decorated to make one impressive show. He said the purpose of this event was to provide equal opportunities for girls and boys in sport and to promote sports culture and the mental well-being of children.

He said it would not only be a sporting event, but also a wholesome recreational activity meant to instill team spirit, tolerance, problem-solving skills and higher self-esteem. He said trophies and medals would be awarded to first, second and third place holders, and participation certificates would be distributed to all players.

Additional colleges secretary Tariq Mehmood Awan said a 15-member organizing committee would take care of accommodation and other facilities for the players, coordinate with the district food committee for the provision of food of quality, oversee the draws and decide on the timing and venues of the games. Fareed Sharif, DPI (Colleges), said a seven-member appeals committee would consider complaints filed by the aggrieved party/team and decide the matter in accordance with the rules before the start of the next game. A technical committee of seven members has also been set up to decide on the duration of the match, the order of play, the appointment of match officials, the study of the pitches, the implementation of the sporting rules and to deal with any other technical issues, he added.

Posted in Dawn, November 9, 2022

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