ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is blessed with a number of sporting stars, who made the country and themselves proud by winning laurels at international level. Master Syed Haider Mannan is one of them, as the 52-year-old is a martial arts instructor/fighter, who is living in UK, but representing the country despite handsome cash offers from his adopted country.

Talking to The Nation from England, Haider said: “I migrated to London from Karachi because I lost my job in Customs, which I had joined in 1983 and was terminated in 1990. I was karate instructor with Customs and had a major car accident in London, in which my femur and knee was broken. Those were the worst years for me, but as a professional karate fighter, I can't live without displaying my skills and pass on my knowledge to others.

“I had four major surgeries and finally in 2012, I stood up and started training again and participated in different international events and represented my country Pakistan rather than England. I won a number of international events besides being honored by the top England Sports Award namely ‘Unsung Hero’ in 2012.”

“I participated in the England national kickboxing championships 2012 in +85kg light contact and in my very first year after overcoming injury woes, I managed to win gold in Manchester. I also won gold in England national kickboxing championships 2012 +85kg point fighting. In the second British Open kickboxing championships 2012 +85kg kata, I won gold and silver in sparring+85. I won gold in FSK British Open Championships 2012 +85kg light contact and silver in kata. I won bronze in +48 and +85kg 5th WKC Karate and Kickboxing Championship 2013 held in Taronto, Italy and won silver medals in +48 and +85kg England National Kickboxing Championship 2014,” he said.

He added: “I won gold medals in +48 and +85kg, British and European Kickboxing Championships 2014, light contact. I also won two gold medals in +42 and +85kg, FSK Open Grand Championships 2014, light contact and two golds in kata as well. I also won gold medals in +48 and +85kg 6th WKC Karate and Kickboxing Championship 2014, in Al Buferra, Portugal and become light contact world champion, won gold medal in +85kg and silver medal in point fighting and bronze medal in kata.”

“I am running karate academies in UK and had rejected lucrative offers of representing England in world events only for my love for Pakistan for which I have sheer love and passion. I want to do something for it and I can help it in preparing youngsters as my services are always available if needed. We have immense amount of talent, and I can turn raw talent into one of the best in business,” Haider claimed.

“I will come to Islamabad soon and will conduct free martial arts clinics and try to pass on the knowledge to the generation next. I hope youth will benefit from my expertise and one day, they will win laurels for the country. I am going to select 10 people for upcoming world championship, which is in Egypt in February. There will be another championship namely All Pakistan Kickboxing Championship and I am looking for sponsors, who can lend a helping hand for this championship in Islamabad,” Haider concluded.