ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan’s top squash coach Khalid Atlas Khan successfully conducted a squash coaching clinic in Kohat under the aegis of Kohat Squash Association (KSA) on Sunday.

Talking to The Nation from Peshawar, Khalid, who hails from squash legends’ family, said: “Squash is in our blood and we had honour of winning countless international squash titles for the country. I was captain of Pakistan squash team and I also earned a great number of international titles, including World Junior Team event, twice, British Junior, Asian Junior team and other major titles.”

He said he had coached in China for almost two years. “I was Guatemala national head coach for one year while I have also coached in Kuwait, India and other international countries. I am going to USA next month for coaching assignments. I will be receiving ‘2019 IDP/Grand Royal Peace Award’ for my services for promoting squash amongst the youth free of cost.

“I conducted coaching clinics for the needy and talented squash enthusiasts, who couldn’t afford to buy equipment. With the help of sponsors and through my own pocket, I not only provided free coaching but also distributed free rackets, shoes and other gears to the clinic attendants,” he added.

Khalid said Pakistan is blessed with great talent in squash and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is packed with raw talent. “I was offered an assignment by former senior vice president Syed Razi Nawab, but due to politics, I wasn’t considered later on. It doesn’t matter for me as squash is in my blood and Pakistan has given me respect, money and honour throughout the world. Indeed I always want to contribute towards helping the generation next of my country to transform them into champions like Jahangir, Jansher and my brothers Aamir and Danish.

“Pakistan squash needs proper planning, top class coaches and young coaches, who must know the modern-day requirements and could pass on modern techniques to the players. Without investing in players and providing them with modern-day training and coaching, Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) can never produce champions,” he added.

He said he is willing to help the PSF, if they need his services. “I am willing to serve my country and squash. We have been at the top and we know how to develop a player. If the federation gives me chance to serve Pakistan squash, let me assure all that I can help resolve all the woes being faced by players and federation and I can turn these players into best ones but for it, the federation has to provide full powers to coach to train the players in the best possible way with long-term planning.”

The squash coach said according to the PSF, they don’t want to spend on senior players because they are not giving results. “My simple question to the federation is that why they are holding the PSA tournaments in Pakistan? Are the current coaches capable of training senior players? Are they aware of modern-day training methods?

“Actually our players need modern-day coaching. For me, they only heard the name of modern training but they don’t even understand its meaning. Coaches play very crucial role in helping players, who heavily depend on their coaches, who keep them informing about their mistakes during the matches,” he asserted.

Khalid said Kohat Squash Association President Faqir Awan, who is also KP Squash Association vice president, requested him to conduct a squash coaching clinic for U-19 players of Kohat. “I accepted the invitation and imparted coaching to 12 players of different age groups, who benefited from my presence, while Syed Sikander Shah (Regional Sports Officer Kohat), along with others witnessed the clinic and appreciated my efforts and contributions.

“I am also qualified coach from World Squash Federation (WSF) and Asian Squash Federation (ASF) and the only Pakistani national, who is WSF qualified tutor. I have professional coaching experience of over 13 years in countries like Kuwait, India, Pakistan, Guatemala, China as head coach and my students have been impressing the world with their squash skills.

“The main aim of holding coaching clinics is to encourage youth towards sports, develop squash and provide opportunity to young talented players of the country to learn properly about squash,” Khalid concluded.