Secretary of Sports & Youth Affairs Punjab, Shahid Zaman, inaugurated the ITF-PTF Wheelchair Tennis Development Initiative Coaching Camp at the Sports Board Punjab Tennis Academy, Nishtar Park Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Wheelchair tennis has already made its debut in Karachi under the leadership of Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Vice President Muhammad Khalid Rehmani, who has been playing a pivotal role in not only promoting the sport in Sindh but also expanding its reach across the nation. Punjab, now the second province to embrace wheelchair tennis, will have PLTA Secretary Rashid Malik (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz) overseeing the sport. Malik’s responsibilities include coaching and nurturing wheelchair tennis players while actively seeking out and developing talented athletes from all over the country.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the wheelchair tennis camp, which saw the participation of 16 wheelchair tennis players from various regions of the province, Secretary Sports Shahid Zaman praised the initiative, saying, “This is a commendable effort by Mr. Khalid Rehmani, a pioneer of wheelchair tennis in Pakistan. In Punjab, under the guidance of Mr. Rashid Malik, wheelchair players will receive training and grooming aimed at transforming them into champions.
“Through the Sports Board Punjab, these players will receive comprehensive support, including wheelchairs, tennis rackets, balls, and access to tennis facilities, all provided free of charge. There is tremendous talent in Punjab, and with the help of qualified coaches, we hope this talent will master the finer aspects of the game,” the Secretary Sports added.
Expressing his gratitude, Mr. Khalid Rehmani said, “I extend my appreciation to Secretary of Sports & Youth Affairs Shahid Zaman for gracing the event as the chief guest and for announcing free-of-cost facilities and tennis equipment for these wheelchair players. I’m also thankful to Mr. Rashid Malik for accepting this responsibility, and I am confident that under his capable guidance and supervision, wheelchair tennis and its players will soon gain popularity in Punjab.
“Our primary goal for 2024 is to prepare wheelchair tennis players for the Paris Paralympics and ITF Unilock Asia Region Cup Wheelchair Tennis. We plan to gather talented wheelchair tennis players from every corner of the country, provide them with training and grooming, and select the best among them for these major events,” Mr. Rehmani explained.
“We are also looking to introduce wheelchair tennis in Quetta, which possesses immense talent. With proper training and maximum international exposure, we hope to produce champions capable of making their mark on the global wheelchair tennis stage,” Mr. Rehmani asserted.