Senior Minister for Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan Monday honored British Open Junior U15 Gold Medalist Muhammad Hamza Khan and U15 and U17 semi-finalists Ammad Ahmed and Noor Zaman with cash incentives and assured them more support so that they could be able continue winning laurals for Pakistan.
Former World Champion and Vice President Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) Qamar Zaman and Director General Sports Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Asfandyar Khan Khattak were also present during the honoring ceremony here.
While commenting on this occasion former Senior Sports Minister KP Muhammad Atif Khan said that the youngsters hailing from Peshawar have given stunning performances in the British Open Junior Squash Championship-2020.
“We have started a project for the revival of winning back lost glories in the world of squash as a small village produced seven world champions that ruled the world for 37 long years by constructed 24 new squash courts just in Peshawar and one each squash complex in all regional headquarters including Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu, Kohat, Mardan, Swat, and Hazara. He said steps have been taken to provide due facilities to the players of merged districts and that is why all the merged districts have been included in 1000 ground projects.
The ongoing Qamar Zaman Squash Complex with six international standard squash courts facilities would be completed in April this year while the under construction squash courts at Nawa Khali would be named after Muhammad Hamza Khan only to pay him tribute for winning gold medal after 7-years, Muhammad Atif Khan added.
He said winning gold medals and bronze medals among 128 players from all over the world is a remarable performance of the players hailding from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said, last year Humam Ahmad and Hamza Khan grabbed silver medals in US Juniors under Directorate General Sports sponsorship program and this time Hamza, Noor Zaman and Ammad have given excellent performances in the British Open Junior U15 and U17 categories.
He also appreciated Pakistan Air Force and its coaches for extending due support to the players in the PAF Squash Academy in Peshawar and Islamabad and said good coaches are going to be appointed very soon in all Regional Headquarters.
Muhammad Atif Khan expressed the hope that our squash players would soon regain their lost positions in the squash arena and asked the players to continue their hard working for the future tournaments. He also appreciated the PSF for encouraging the players and currently providing them international exposures. He said now players at junior level are coming up and if provided due opportunities and international exposure they would show better result.
He said the govt is increased sports budget upto Rs. 28 billions annually and all the international medals would be awarded Rs. 300,000 for gold medal, Rs, 100,000 each for silver and bronze medals besides monthly stipend of Rs. 30,000 (gold medal), Rs. 15000 (silver medal) and Rs. 10,000 (bronze medals).
He said more than 100 coaches would be appointed very soon besides 47 other coaches are currently being enrolled by the Directorate of Sports KP in various games. At the end, the awarded cash prizes to Muhammad Hamza Khan, Ammad Ahmed and Noor Zaman.