LAHORE - Punjab Sports Festival 2013-14 is gaining momentum as 160,000 youngsters participated in a variety of healthy sports activities throughout the province on its fourth day.

Provincial Minister for Education, Sports and Youth Affairs Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan inaugurated the events and encouraged the participating youth by playing cricket, volleyball and arm wrestling at Samnabad Town.

Almost 13,000 sports grounds of the province thronged with players as competitions of cricket tapeball, tug of war, athletics, billiard, badminton, volleyball and arm wrestling were held and 18,000 players qualified for the next level in their respective games.

Addressing the youth, Rana Mashood said: “We have taken youth away from drugs and other harmful activities and brought them to sports grounds. The objective of Punjab Youth Festival is to provide a door opportunity to the youth to envision their bright future and to build a respectable image of Pakistan.”

He urged the general public to take part in Punjab Youth Festival’s activities with full passion and avail the opportunities and sports facilities being provided by the government.

In this regard, government is taking all necessary measures to provide good sports facilities to people as stadiums and gymnasiums are being established throughout the province. MPA Saiful Malook Khokhar and other political and social personalities present at the occasion also enjoyed the talent displayed by the youth.

In Lahore Division, various competitions were held in six towns. More than 3,812 players from 94 union councils took part in 416 events and 1,642 of them were declared winners. In districts Sheikhpora, Nenkana Sahib and Kasur, 4375 players from 162 Union councils participated in 801 events, 2,335 of them were declared winners. In Gujranwala division, 3,027 players from 157 union councils played in 358 events, 1,530 of them were announced winners.

In Faisalabad division, 990 players from 28 union councils took part in 165 events and 330 of them were the winners.

In Rawalpindi division, 1,037 players from 31 union councils participated in 49 events, 401 of them were winners. In Sargodha division, 5,833 players from 142 union councils took part in 1,120 events, 1,791 of them were declared winners. In DG Khan division, 6,755 players from 285 union councils participated in 467 events, 3,242 of them were victorious. In Multan division, 7855 players from 271 union councils took part in 921 events, 4,911 of them were winners while in Sahiwal division, 381 players from 16 union councils participated in 45 events, 94 of them were the winners.