There are no medals for push-ups


HYDERABAD/GHOTKI(DNA) ; The Sindh Minister for Sports Muhammad Bux Mahar captured the attention of all and sundry; not only in Sindh but with his recent push-up challenge he is also on the radar in Punjab.
However in his province sports facilities are in dire straits. In Ghotki, sportsmen protested on Tuesday against the state of the Daharki stadium which is inundated and parts of it look more like a garbage dump.
In Hyderabad the hockey stadium was the site of a carnival. Authorities were oblivious until media highlighted the issue and the administration awoke from its slumber. Even then, the Ferris wheel and carnival set up stands as is.
It hasn’t been a year since the – recently renamed – Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium in Karachi had new AstroTurf installed at a cost of Rs. 50 million. The stadium was the site of a ‘dog show’ and the turf was being trampled not by doggy paws but the treads of motorbikes.
While the Pakistan Hockey Federation claims it had been given assurances the event in Karachi would take place off the field, there were no assurances sought in in Hyderabad where the stadium was given away to host a carnival for a measly Rs. 5000/day (approx $50).
Besides cricket other sports in Pakistan have been neglected for long. That is why cricketers are stars who are idolized, while most Pakistanis would not even be able to identify other sportsmen representing the country.
After the Pakistani test match captain dropped and did ten push-ups after securing a century and the team delivered the same after winning the match, push-ups suddenly were all the rage. Everyone all over Pakistan was dropping and doing push-ups.
Did you notice, it was the ‘cricketers’ who started the fad, not the boxers, not the hockey players, not the squash players, not the tennis players nor the swimmers, not even Mr. Pakistan, it was the cricketers.
The young sports minister in Sindh has already retracted his push-up challenge and clarified that it was a friendly offer not just for his counterpart in Punjab but for all sports ministers across the country.
Here’s a challenge for all our sports ministers, either clean up the stadiums that look more like garbage dumps, ban the use (or abuse) of sports facilities for weddings, carnivals and the likes, or since the nation is already push-up crazy; register it as a recognized sport because at present there are no medals for doing the most push-ups.