Lahore-IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza on Wednesday distributed cheques among the Pakistan Asian Style Kabaddi team, which won bronze medal in the 13th South Asian Games held in Nepal from December 1-10, 2019.

PSB Director Media M Azam Dar told The Nation that the kabaddi players, who received cash prizes of Rs 1.5 million, were Nasir Ali (captain), Muhammad Nadeem, Sajjad Shaukat, Waqar Ali, Muhammad Imran, Ahsan Mahmood, Kashif Razzaq, Akhlaq Hussain, Mudassar Ali, Muhammad Safian, Usman Khalid and Asad Ali.

Azam Dar, who is also PSB Deputy Director General, further said that the remaining cash awarding ceremonies for badminton, boxing, swimming and rifle shooting will be held by the PSB after Eid holidays.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Fehmida, who is also President Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), said: “I congratulate young bloods on this feat and ensure ultimate moral and administrative support to all the national players, who want to represent Pakistan in future as well.”

She said that post 18th amendment, sports has become a provincial subject. “The provinces should now step up and take lead in ensuring wellbeing of their sportsperson. The federal government is working on revitalizing sports slowly and gradually with the help from provinces.”

The IPC Minister said that the federal government struggled to deliver the due cash prizes. Giving sports its due importance, the minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan would have delivered awards himself in a mega ceremony if country was not going through COVID19 crisis.

She said that the federal government is fully aware of issues faced by the sportsmen and hence working on facilitating them. She mentioned that the PSB has conducted training camps in past and urged the players to continue practicing at homes until the corona virus situation is over. She said sports federation will gradually open sports facilities while observing SOPs so that the health as well as training of players does not get compromised.

Sharing his views, Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) Secretary Muhammad Sarwar Rana said: “We laud the IPC and Federal Minister Fehmida Mirza on awarding champions of the 13th South Asian Games amid COVID19 crisis and hope that the government will continue to support the champions, who in return will earn glories for the country.

Captain Asian Style kabaddi team Nasir Ali thanked the government and IPC Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza for timely rewarding the medal winners of the 13th Asian Games. “It is a great initiative of the government and IPC Ministry, which will benefit the country in the long run as it will encourage the players to give out their best in the international competitions and win more and more laurels for the country. The more the players get moral and financial support, the better results they will produce at international level.”