LAHORE-Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Sports Board Punjab (SBP) have decided to establish a Center of Excellence for the revival of hockey. 

This decision was taken during an important meeting between PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa and Director General Sports Punjab Adnan Arshad Aulakh here at National Hockey Stadium on Wednesday. National hockey team head coach Olympian Kh Junaid, Director Admin Javed Chohan, Director Sports Hafeez Bhatti and others were also present on this occasion. The PHF officials presented a detailed report of the project through projector during the meeting. 

PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa said: “Setting up a Center of Excellence will definitely be a revolutionary measure for the cause of the national game. We are targeting to raise a top standard team for Junior Hockey World Cup 2024. We have prepared a plan to take Pakistan hockey on top spot again with the cooperation of Sports Board Punjab.” 

Aulakh said the Center of Excellence will be established at the National Hockey Stadium. “The project will consist of three phases of 3 years each and it will be completed within a period of 10 years. In the first phase, a batch of 60 players of 13 to 18 years of age will be given top class training, setting a target to prepare a bunch of talented hockey players for Junior Hockey World Cup 2024.”

The DG SBP said there is acute dearth of quality coaches, umpires and fitness trainers in the country and that’s why coaching camps for trainers and training of umpires have also been included in the project besides holding school hockey, competitive tournaments and fitness camps. “Moreover, the programmes of physio training, biomechanics lab, nutrition, sports medicine, video analysis lab are also included in the project,” he added. 

Aulakh said that the SBP will continue to make effective efforts for the promotion of hockey in the province in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “This project is being launched to regain the lost glory in hockey and for this purpose; we will utilize all of our resources.”