Colours of spring mark Punjab Sports Festival closing


The start of the spring and its ever alluring fragrance and colours marked the closing of nearly two-month long Punjab Sports Festival 2012. Under the shadow of historic Badshahi Masjid and centuries old Lahore Fort, the Sports Board Punjab arranged a colourful and cherishing ceremony to honour the players who won honours for their respective tehsils, districts, divisions, schools and colleges. All the winners of different sports were assembled at Hazoori Bagh especially decorated to lure the youth of the province towards sports.
The mastermind behind the organization of this sports festival was none other than the son of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, and their PML (N) federal leader Mian Hamza, who as chairman of the organizing committee successfully held sporting activity throughout the province.
The plus point of organizing this festival turned out to be the sports facilities the Punjab government had been able acquire from the illegal occupants and lured in around 500,000 people of different ages to sports.
Hamza with the guidance of Usman Anwar, director general Sports Board Punjab and support of Rana Mashood, deputy speaker Punjab assembly, had been able to organize a successful sports activity which is being seen the biggest in Asia in terms of participation and duration. “The loopholes that have been identified during the inaugural festival would surely be overcome next year,” said Usman Anwar.
Rana Mashood said that there were several issues that came by but the enormity of the event should not be forgotten. “The problems seen during this year’s events won’t be repeated next year and it would be more organised and well-planned,” he added. “Organising an event of such a capacity is not an easy aspect and in a short span of time we have been able to hold it quite feasibly,” he maintained. The Sports Board to give glowing colours to the festival organized its closing ceremony in a carnival style and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif presented the top performers cash with prizes worth millions. Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, who was the chairman organizing committee, Rana Mashood, deputy speaker, Usman Anwar, Dg Sports Punjab, MPAs, MNAs, secretaries and government officials joined the organizing committee during the mega historical event.
“The Punjab government provided the youth of the province a platform to excel in the field of sports. The youth is the real strength of the country and whenever there will be a revolution it would be the youth of the country that would bring positive change,” said Hamza in his address during the closing ceremony of the festival. Around 1600 winner athletes attended the ceremony and were awarded cash prizes and enjoyed the traditional festivity.
As on the last day, Awais Ali of Faisalabad, Shafique of Kasur and Zahid Iqbal of Lahore won the concluding 66 km cycle races and Fizza of Lahore finished the fun cycle race in 46:15 to be the winner while Sadaf of Faisalabad stood second and Malaika of Gujranwala got third position whereas two special persons Anam and Asma achieved fourth and fifth positions to win the 22 KM cycling race. In the 22 km male cycling race, Tariq secured first position covering the distance in 34:40, Mohammed Ibrahim got second while Mohamad Azeem and Mohammad Kashif were third and fourth.
The prizes amounting Rs 50,000 for first position holders in 22 KM fun cycling race was awarded, Rs 40,000 for second, Rs 35,000 for third positions were announced for the winners while first 31 positions in 22 KM fun cycling and first 50 position holders in professional cycling race will be awarded the prizes amounting Rs 800,000.