Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) annexed the men and women titles in the 66th National Track Cycling Championships, which concluded here on Wednesday.
Besides SSGC, Punjab team finished the event as runners-up. Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza graced the concluding ceremony as chief guest and distributed prizes among the winners. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Fehmida said: “The departments should support the regional teams in the same way the entire world has been doing it, as we can see that in many sports ruling countries, their departments are supporting their regional teams. The fact is that the departments have deserted the sports nurseries in the country.”
On this, the players, present on the occasion, said that if the government closes the departmental sports, how they will earn livelihood for their families. “We survive just because of the salaries our departments provide us. We don’t have any other source of income to run the kitchen of our homes. It is due to departments we have continued our games and without them, we won’t be able to fully focus on our games rather it would shift our focus towards earning bread and butter for our families and it will also hamper the chances of Pakistan players to do well in international events.”
The Federal Minister said the government is well aware of the problems being faced by the sportsmen and steps are being taken to redress their problems and to help them earn livelihood as they are the ambassadors of the country and elevate its image by producing fine results in international meets abroad. She said the present government is fully committed to revive and promote sports across the country.
Speaking about Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and their audit, the IPC minister said: “When the money will be in Pakistani banks, we will audit such accounts and amount. But our main goal is promotion of sports in Pakistan and for this, we want everyone come under one page and just focus on improving declining standard of Pakistan sports.”
The IPC Minister also lauded the Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) officials for conducting the event in a successful manner and hoped that they will continue to serve the game in the best possible manner. “All the cyclists displayed quality skills and techniques during the event and the best ones succeeded in winning the titles. There is no dearth of talent in the country and we will continue to support and groom that talent and facilitate at national and international level, so that in return, they may earn international glories for Pakistan.”
Replying to a query regarding Pakistan and India T20 World Cup match, Dr Fehmida said: “Pakistan was, is and will remain my favourite team because I have a true patriotic heart and I will support my team till last breathe. “It is my suggestion to India that they must keep politics away from cricket