The two-day Women and Men Hazara Region Hockey trials got underway under the Prime Minister Youth Talent Hunt Program here at historical Kunj Ground on Thursday.
A total of 110 women and 197 boys players turned up for the trials in Hazara Region wherein the selection committee headed by former Hockey Olympian Rahim Khan, Waqas Ahmad, Zia Ur Rehman Benori and President KP Hockey Association Syed Zahir Shah have thoroughly monitored the performance of the players before short-listing them.
There were 63 female players who had their online registration and the rest had their on the spot registration wherein they went through different sessions and the selection committee thoroughly witnessed their performance during the trials.
The boys trials started soon after the female trials in the morning and held nine different sessions wherein 22 players, 11 each side, appeared in the trials. In the boys trials 158 players had their online registration and the rest 39 did their on the spot registration before going through proper trials matches.
Former MPA Amna Sarda, who is also President Women Youth Wing KP, MPA Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha, Miss Rizwana Sehgal, General Secretary Women Wing Hazara Division, Engr. Arif Rawan, Coordinator Youth Program for KP graced the occasion as guest, He was accompanied Coordinator for Higher Education Commission former international athlete and DG Sports University of Peshawar Bahre Karam, Deputy Director Sports Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University Miss Mariyyah Samin Jan, Director Distance System Education Dr. Noorzada, and other important personalities were present.
In light of the special instructions of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, UoP under the supervision of Advisor to Prime Minister Amir Muqam and Special Assistant Shaza Fatima initiated trials in 12 male and 10 female Games with the collaboration and support of the HEC all across the country including KP.
Olympian Rahim Khan lauded the Prime Minister for launching such a Youth Talent Hunt Program at grassroots level. He said KP has been divided in four different zones including Swat, Hazara, Mardan, Peshawar, and Bannu wherein both boys and girls trials would be organized which help in searching new talent from all across the country including Pakistan.
He said in the first phase, a total of 25 players each for all regions would be short-listed for the camp, following with the League event and in the final phase a bunch of 25 players would be selected for the one month international training in each Games.
In her address to the players, the chief guest Amna Sardar said that in the light of PP instructions, steps are being taken to promote sports across the country. She appreciated University of Peshawar, Higher Education Commission and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University for facilitating youth, both girls and boys for the trials in different games including hockey.
She said that for the promotion of national game hockey, such steps are key for regaining the lost glory again but without hard work of the players and extending them modern day facilities we could not rank among top teams of the world.
The government, she said, should take strong measures to promote this game at the school level. KP Youth Coordinator Engr. Arif Rawan said that in 25 regions across the country, trials of various games continue including hockey, wherein both male and female are taking part.
He said such trials have been initiated in all the four provinces including Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan while soon a proper mechanism would be established to provide ample opportunities to the players of merged tribal districts.
They are part of these trials but we want to have such trials in the merged districts as well in order to ensure maximum participation of the tribal youth. Coordinator of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and former international athlete Bahre Karam said that they have made best arrangements for hosting the trials and facilitating the selection committee of various Games in all five regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said for the selection of the players merit is the only criteria. The player who performs on the field will be selected. Deputy Director Sports SBBWU Maria Samin is coordinator for Female Games in KP.