ISLAMABAD - Saima Shoukat can resolve Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) woes as far as winning medals in female category is concern. 29-year-old Saima had won countless events both at national and international level and had loads of experience behind her back. She had also conducted ASF Level-I and ASF Level-II courses besides attending countless refereeing clinics and had conducted referring in various national junior and senior championships.
Saima is currently in the national women national training camp at Mushaf Ali Mir Squash Complex under the command of head coach Jamshed Gul, who is assisted Faheem Gul. While talking to The Nation on Sunday Saima said she started playing squash at the age of 17 under the watchful eyes of Faheem and her first event was Punjab Open Squash Championship in 2001 in Lahore where she finished third.
Saima had won Punjab Lahore Camp title, played in the Asian Junior main round in 2003 and won gold medal in 69th Punjab Games held in Lahore in 2003. Since 2001 she had played in almost all the major events both home and away and had won COAS Open Squash Championship in 2009and 30th National Games in 2007. “In the past there were a lot of politics in squash especially female players were provided with very limited opportunities but situation has improved for the last 2 or 3 years but there is still a lot needed to be done for female players.”
She said she has offered her services both as senior most player and a qualified coach/referee, and federation must take advantage of her experience. “I am ready to start professional coaching career. I want to train female players at grass roots level. There is not a single female coach/referee in the country. If provided with support and federation send me abroad for further coaching/refereeing courses, I can help federation in producing number of female players in next few years.”
She said females find it really difficult to communicate with male coaches and there were lot of things, which they can't share with a male coach. By appointing a female coach, it would serve both federation and females and would ease pressure from male coaches as well, she added.