LAHORE, May 06 (APP):The newly-appointed secretary of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), former Olympian Muhammad Asif Bajwa on Monday vowed to lift the national sport hockey out of present gloom by taking all stake-holders on board to seek their opinion for a rare guard action.
“The situation is dismal as far as our hockey is concerned, as we are struggling at international level and our kitty is empty. In the given circumstances, we will have to take a fresh start by taking all former Olympians and players into confidence and seeking their technical assistance to revive the game,” he told the media here at the National Hockey Stadium.
The former Olympain said that the task assigned to him is “challenging” and he has accepted the challenge to contribute to the national cause and play a role in revival of sagging fortune of the game.
“I will take every possible measure, assembling all the stalwarts of the game at one platform, requesting them to lend support for a mission, which is not impossible,” he added.
Asif Bajwa who last served as the secretary PHF in 2013 was of the view that collective efforts were needed to revive the game. “My specific mandate is re-structuring of the PHF, formation of the national junior strings and setting up of hockey academies and, most importantly, seeking sponsorship from government and private business houses in order to run the PHF on modern lines to bring it on a par with the national hockey federation of those countries who have progressed a lot in the game in recent years,” he highlighted the main points on his agenda.
The PHF official said it is a sour reality that the PHF is cash-starved and adequate funds are needed to re-start hockey activities on solid lines. “I will be seeking financial support from all provincial governments and the prime minister besides establishing a professional marketing department of the PHF to gather ample funds to generate hockey activities round-the-year,” said Asif Bajwa.
He said in a few days time, he will be presenting his roadmap for revival of the game and will incorporate the input of the former masters of the game on allied issues.
“if needed, we will also consider the option of hiring foreign coach to groom out team, but we have yet to set our priorities by collectively working on a one-point agenda, which is revival of the game,” said the former Olympian.
He expressed his gratitude to PHF President Brig (retd) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar for giving him the responsibility to act as the secretary of the PHF.
Asif Bajwa said it is a sour reality that Pakistan which was a force to reckon with at the highest level of the game by possessing all major hockey titles, is now a pale shadow of its glittering past and regaining glory and winning medals at international level have now become a uphill task as it takes years to build a medal winning combination due to competitive international competition.
“I request all former Olympians to come forward and table their useful suggestions for revival and betterment of hockey, which is now a dying sport and it is our collective duty as former Olympians and international hockey players to restore the status, image and pride of our national side which is in wilderness,” he said.
He said that one of the points on his agenda was resumption of international hockey in Pakistan, which is only possible by restoring the confidence of games ruling body, International Hockey Federation, in the PHF and to get sufficient funds to invite foreign teams and to organise international events in a befitting manner.
Answering a question, he said the decision of his appointment will be endorsed by the executive board of the PHF in its upcoming meeting. “The outgoing secretary, Shahbaz Ahmad Senior, resigned from the post and the PHF president accepted it,” he said adding “PHF is taking every decision under its constitution in consultation with its executive board and congress.”