A record 22907 players of 104 Tehsils of 32 districts including the merger tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be participating in the 4th edition of the Under-23 Games, Senior Minister for Sports, Tourism, Culture and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan told APP here on Thursday.
He said this time the pool of the Under-23 Games have been widening up to all 104 Tehsils of 32 districts across KP including 25 Tehsils and seven districts of the merger tribal areas with cash prizes has been doubles from that was in last year. The gold medal winner of each discipline would be awarded Rs. 100,000, silver medalist would get Rs. 50,000 and third position will be awarded Rs. 25000 instead of 50,000, 30,000 and 20,000 was last year.
The award of the sports scholarship introduced in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 has also been increased so that to help the talented players to continue their education without facing any hardship as far as the tuition fee from class 9th to Master Classes are concerned.
The pool of the Under-23 Games have been widening up to almost 22907 male and female and would be played in 104 Tehsils of 32 districts in the first phase with six discipline comprising football, volleyball, athletics, badminton, kabaddi and tug of war for the male only. There will be no female games at Tehsil level.
In the second phase at District level there will be 10 male and seven female games. A total of 3616 male players would take part in hockey, table tennis, judo, karate, taekwondo, wrestling, basketball, gymnastic, Wushu and weightlifting while 2624 female will participate in volleyball, netball, athletics, tug of war, badminton, table tennis and cricket.
In the third phase at Regional level there will 2200 players part 14 male and 10 female games. The male games comprising Baseball, handball, tennis, archery, futsal, handball, swimming, cycling, snooker, full contact karate, bodybuilding, boxing, squash and chuck ball. For female there will be 10 different games comprising Baseball, hockey, squash, tennis, archery, Wushu, judo, taekwondo, basketball and handball.
He said this traditional and indigenous games and games for the Paralympic (with the disabilities) would also part of the Under-23 Games wherein in Traditional and Indigenous Games and Paralympic Games a total of 6000 players would take part.
About the allocation of grant for the fourth edition of the Under-23 Games, he disclosed it would be a two year projects with a total allocation of Rs. 36.44 million for each year. He said focus has been given to the female as well and that is why a separate facility would be establishing in each Regional Headquarters so that the female could continue their games without any hardship and within our culture norms and dignified manners.
He said there are more successive stories coming in and thanks to the media men who are constantly highlighting those players who were part of the Under-23 Games are now delivering good result at national and international levels.
He said recently two of our players Humam Ahmad and Hamza Niaz grabbed silver medal in the US Junior-2018 Squash Championship out of more than 128 participants from around the world countries.
“It is a big achievement on the part of our squash players and many other successive stories wherein our players winning medals in wrestling, table tennis, tennis, karate, judo, hockey and now taekwondo,” he added.
In wrestling 17-year old Inayat Ullah become the world gold medalist in wrestling, 13-year-old Human and 15 years-old Hamza Niaz won medals in squash in US and Noor Zaman played the semi-finals of the British Open, in Table Tennis Kainat won medal in Asian Championship in India, Fahad Khawjah represented Pakistan in Commonwealth Games, Umam Khawjah got credential of declaring as pearl of Asia in Doha, Qatar, in Karate Ismail won the international medal, in Judo Hussain Shah achieved world fame, in 14-year old Hamid Israr, 9-year-old Hamza Roman got, Laiba Ahmad won two gold medal in Quaid-e-Azam Games and was awarded by the Prime Minister besides her participation in the US Junior Open and other tournaments in US.