ISLAMABAD  - Rawalpindi District Squash Association (RDSA) secretary Naeem Anwar, who is also joint secretary of Rawalpindi Zonal Squash Association, has said that the renovation/maintenance work of Benazir Squash Complex, Liaqat Bagh is near to completion and the RDSA will start a squash academy in the name of Air Chief.

Talking to The Nation, Naeem, who is also executive committee member of Punjab Squash Association (PSA), and vice president Shalimar Club, said: “We are grateful to former MNA Malik Shakeel Awan for allocating Rs 1.6 million for renovation of Benazir Squash Complex. To keep the things transparent, we have nothing to do with cash as the entire process is being looked after by relevant persons and I am quite hopeful that the complex will be ready by the third week of this month.”

He said when he took over the responsibility of RDSA secretary, it was his main aim to provide not one or two but several players to the federation. “Rawalpindi is blessed with natural squash talent and this region has produced a number of top class players. I signed agreement with Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) as I have sheer love and passion for sports. Almighty has given me so much so it is my national and moral duty to pay back in the best possible manner.

“Despite my tough schedule, I still managing my work and sports for the last two years or so and I not only conducted the Commissioner Cup in 2015 and 2016, but also a number of regional squash championships, while last year, we couldn’t conduct Commissioner Cup, due to a number of reasons, but this year, not only Commissioner Cup would be held, but also a national ranking championship will also be held at the very same courts.

He said he never ever had any lust of personal mileage. “I never want to come into limelight. Rawalpindi has given so many players to the Punjab Squash Association and it is my promise that as soon as Rawalpindi chapter of Air Chief Squash Academy starts, we will pay special attention towards U-11, U-13, U-15and U-17. Yes, I know for the time-being, we are completely focusing on boys, as parents are not ready to send their daughters, but let me assure all that it is only a matter of time and soon girls will also be the part of the Rawalpindi Squash Academy.”

He said he had spent around Rs 1 million with the help of president Sh Aamir Waheed and other well-wishers of squash. “When we took over the courts, they were in shambles but we managed complete whitewash and renovation of all the five courts and now around Rs 2 million are being spent on new lights and air conditioners. As soon as the academy starts, we have plans to pay special attention towards enhancing seating capacity. We will not only provide gears, coaches, accommodation and meal but will also send players aboard for PSA events. The academy is constructed with the aim of hunting fresh talent and transforming them into champions.

Naeem said: “I know the PSF has been doing wonderful job, ever since senior vice president Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi and secretary Tahir Sultan have taken over the reins. Under the dynamic wisdom of President Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman, they have worked so hard, but it is now players turn to respond in positive manner.

“We have already three to four highly talented boys in U-15 and U-17 and the academy will not only polish them but also turn them into top class players. They are already playing in international events and perfroming.”