ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Olympic Association, under the auspice of IOC Olympic Solidarity Commission, organised a seminar to educate athletes, coaches and other key officials taking part in the forthcoming 18th Asian Games, Jakarta, here at a local hotel on Saturday.

Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hasan, President Pakistan Olympic Association inaugurated the seminar in the presence of a large number of athletes, coaches, officials. He informed about the significance of the seminar for the protection of clean athletes and particularly saving the contingent from any unwanted situation that they may face due to lack of awareness. He advised the national sports federations to highlight policies for instance ‘No Needle Policy’ and whereabouts of athletes for better understanding of athletes and coaches. He was confident that the seminar will secure its intended objectives as the POA medical commission under the chair of Dr Waqar Ahmad, is composed of competent medical consultants who are well known for their work in the field of sports science.

Dr Asad Abbass, on behalf of the Medical Commission, lauded the efforts of POA for making the seminar a success. The event was also attended by senior delegation of Pakistan Sports Board including Mansoor and Azam Dar and both officials assured the audience of PSB’s full support. The POA Medical Commission informed the coaches and athletes on important aspects in the seminar that will conclude today. Dr Waqar delivered lecture on prevention of the use of doping, drug and alcohol and sports nutrition. Brig (R) Dr Muhammad Yousaf Baig highlighted sports psychology. Dr Asad Abbas Shah informed about prevention of bullying, harassment and abuse in sport.

While talking to the journalists Lt Gen (R) Arif informed that Pakistan Sports Board had agreed to finance 245-member Pakistani delegation for the coming Asian Games. Football, Ju Jistu and other 113 athletes will be sponsored by POA and other private sponsors. He emphasised on the need of developing sports culture in schools and college level.

He said that sports complex like Narowal Sports City would serve no purpose until and unless the infrastructure is expanded to across Punjab. He thanked PSB’s Acting Director General Arif Ibrahim for his all out support and said it was his utmost efforts to ensure maximum participation of Pakistani contingents in mega international events.

He further said that POA will give detailed briefing to new government regarding sports. However, he failed to tell his achievements for the last 15 years and also declined an answer regarding passing on benefits to only near and dear ones by the POA as same old faces are always given VIP treatment in international tours and deserving coaches, athletes and officials are left empty-handed as well as ignoring those federations which are performing exceptionally at international level like Judo, Athletics federations and Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation. Gen Arif was scheduled to arrive before 12:00, but he kept all waiting for ages before finally arriving.