Athletes’ exodus affects Railways performance


LAHORE – Pakistan Railways, which was once a major nursery of sports in the country, is now lagging behind as a players’ exodus is seriously affecting its standing at the national level.
In the recent 31st National Games held at Peshawar, Army took the lead while WAPDA followed them but Railways remained nearly at the bottom.
Railways won just four gold medals and it is the only department after Army which has a wide range of sporting facilities available at all the major cities while WAPDA has just one major complex near Chungi Amar Sadhu.
It has been learnt that Railways spent Rs 23,00,000 in its preparation for the National Games while its annual budget is Rs 7 million but with no fruitful output. For nearly the last two decades, Railways never seemed to be close to reaching the podium with just one or two exceptional sport.
In all, Railways won 48 medals and majority of them were bronze in events like boxing, wrestling etc as there are very few athletes who compete in such disciplines. Another thing to note is that the most players representing Railways are past their primes and even their sports officials are not giving proper time to their job.
The department, given the facilities it has, should be playing lead role in the country’s sport. If the officials give their hundred per cent and bring fresh faces , Railways can still challenge departments like Army and Wapda.