LAHORE: Punjab Squash Association (PSA) head Noor-ul-Amin Mengal, who is also Secretary Punjab Local Government, has vowed to conduct maximum junior squash events at grassroots to uplift the game and take it to new heights.

While unveiling the ambitious activity plan for the revival of squash in Punjab, Noor-ul-Amin on Monday said: “It is the need of hour to focus on unearthing new talent and to train it under a long term and it is only possible when we are holding junior level tournaments on regular basis across the province.”

The activity programme was approved at a special executive committee meeting of PSA which was presided over by the President PSA and was also attended by Secretary, PSA, Muhammad Mansoor and Senior Vice President, Sohail Khan and representatives of all the affiliated zones of the body.

Mengal said the activity plan will kick off with the holding of a new tournament, Punjab Open junior squash championship which will be played from March 23 at PSA complex. “The event is open to U13, U15, U17 and U18 players and it will help in spotting new squash talent as presently we are short of talented junior players who could be groomed under the watchful eyes of our experienced coaches,” he said.

The PSA chief called upon the participants of the meeting to organize junior level squash events with the help of PSA after every three months in their respective zones. “We will holding junior level tournaments after every three months at PSA as well as in other parts of the province and we will be maintaining a data base of all the talented players of the province and finally they will be invited to attend a training camp at Lahore “

Mangal along with the members of the executive committee went around the PSA complex and expressed his displeasure on the poor conditions of the entire complex, with wooden floors being bumpy and wooden parts of courts broken at some places. The main championship court and hall were presenting a poor look without proper maintenance, white wash, broken seats of spectators and unhygienic conditions of changing rooms and bathrooms.

“The previous set up of PSA did not pay any attention on the maintenance of this international facility which hosted a number of elite international tournaments in past and the back wall glass courts and courts for beginners are in pathetic condition and the entire complex seems a worn out squash facility,” he said. PSA Secretary Muhammad Mansoor presented a report on the state of PSA complex on which the President, PSA directed the concerned quarters to immediately start renovation and repair work of the complex for holding the Punjab Open junior squash championship in a befitting manner.

He lamented that hefty funds of Rs 50 million given by Sports Board Punjab were not utilized in right direction of lifting the game out of present gloom and to find new talent by evolving a activity plan.

The PSA president himself a diehard lover of squash and a former U14 and 16 national champion in his youth days, listened to the problems of the Zonal representatives of PSA and assured them his all out cooperation for renovation of existing infrastructure, courts in their respective zones besides provision of coaches and holding of tournaments by extending financial help.

“Solid and collective efforts are needed for the overall development of the squash in the province and we will be backing up the efforts of our affiliated zonal bodies in this regard,” Mengal concluded.

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