LAHORE-IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza on Monday distributed cheques among the members of medal winning Pakistan volleyball team and beach volleyball team.

Talking to The Nation, PSB Director Media M Azam Dar said: “Pakistan volleyball team had won silver medal in the 13th South Asian Games held in Nepal from December 1-10, 2019 while beach volleyball team bagged bronze medal in the Beach Games. In the 13th South Asian Games, Pakistan contingent won total 133 medals comprising 32 gold, 41 silver and 60 bronze medals.”

IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza distributed cheques among 18 players of Pakistan volleyball teams in two sessions to ensure their safety and observing SOPs set by the government. The cash prizes were distributed in line with the approved cash award policy. The total amount distributed among the volleyball players was Rs 4.50 million. The players, who received the cheques were Aimal Khan (captain), Mubasshir Raza, Nasir Ali, Naveed M Kashif, Abdul Zaheer, Hamid Yazman, Haider Farooq, Murad Jehan, Fahad Raza, Abdullah, M Idrees, Usman Faryad Ali, M Usman, Hassan Mazhar Hussain, M Waseem (beach captain), Afaq Khan, Zarnab Khan and M Razzaq.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister appreciated the untiring efforts of Pakistan sportspersons, who brought laurels for the country. “The federal government is fully aware of the problems of sportspersons and playing its due role for the promotion of sports in the country.” She said that the provinces should come forward for uplifting standards of the games in the country and promote sports from grassroots level by adopting the best practices of the world as the provinces are primarily responsible for the sports under the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

The IPC Minister lauded the performance of Pakistan volleyball team. She said the Pakistan Sports Board had organised national training camps and acquired the services of foreign coaches, who trained the players on modern and scientific lines. She also apprised that Pakistan volleyball team participated in the Asian U-23 Men Championship at Myanmar in August 2019 and secured fourth place out of 16 participating countries.

“In this championship, Pakistan team won 6 matches consecutively without losing any match. In the preliminary round, Pakistan team defeated Qatar, Bahrain and qualified for the top 8 positions. From the other group, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) and Sri Lanka qualified. Pakistan team defeated both teams, and won top position in the group. Pakistan team proved strong enough to defeat Taiwan which finally became winner of this competition.

“In the next round, Pakistan defeated one of the top World teams Australia as well as Kazakhstan and qualified for semifinal. Unfortunately, Pakistan lost its semifinal and was placed at number 04 position finally. Pakistan got recognized itself as one of the top teams of Asia,” Dr Fehmida concluded.