POA hosts reception in honour of volleyball, ju-jitsu podium performers


Starting a new trend, the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) hosted a luncheon reception at its headquarters here Sunday to honour the Pakistan Volleyball team and the Ju-Jitsu players who had recently produced podium performances in high-grade international events in Dubai and Iran respectively.
“This reception is meant to honour, and to give recognition to our medal winners in the disciplines of volleyball and ju-jitsu. The POA shall continue this practice in future as well so that our sportsmen who win laurels for the country at the least get the recognition that is very much their due”, said President POA Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Arif Hasan HI(M) while speaking on the occasion.
Both the teams and their managements were also awarded cash awards prize worth Rs.200,000/- (Rupees two hundred thousand) apiece each to the Pakistan Volleyball and Ju-Jitsu Federations for disbursement to the medalists and their coaching staff.
The players of both the volleyball and ju-jitsu squads were also given a standing ovation by all present.
The function was hugely attended by the officials of the national federations and the provincial associations with the Olympic family also present to applaud the performers along with a sizable gathering of the print and electronic media.
The Pakistan Volleyball team had recently won silver medal in the Sheikh Rashid Al-Maktoum International Volleyball Tournament held at Dubai from October 4 to 9, 2012 while Pakistan’s Jiu-Jitsu players had done themselves proud by winning as many as 10 medals, one of them gold, in the Asian Ju-Jitsu Championship held from October 18-22, 2012 in Iran.
Both events were of great significance in terms of their rating. The ju-jitsu tournament was a continental affair while the 14th Sheikh Rashid Al-Maktoum International Volleyball Tournament too had a top quality field with Tunis, the Africa champions, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, UAE and Pakistan taking part in the week-long event. Pakistan’s Volleyball team braved the odds to win silver in the event for the second successive year which reflects the fortitude and inherent talent of the squad. “Pakistan won all its matches, except against Tunis, and in all these the player of the match was from Pakistan with Imran Sultan declared the Best Libero of the tournament”, said Ch. Yaqoob, president of the Pakistan Volleyball Federation. “We are grateful for the POA’s support and recognition”, said he, adding, “the average age of this Pakistan team is just 23 years, and six of them are 6 ft 6 inches tall. If appropriately supported, this team has the potential to go places”.
Khalil Ahmed Khan, president of the Pakistan Ju-Jitsu Federation said that the Pakistan Sports Board did not give us the NOC in time and owing to uncertainty we sent an under-strength squad. “Still the quality of our players was obvious, for each of them won a medal for an overall haul of 10 (breakup: one gold, four silver and five bronze)”, said Khalil.
The players and officials of both the federations and the Olympic family appreciated the POA’s initiative and hoped that it would go some way in providing an incentive to the sportsmen across all disciplines to raise the level of their performance by a few notches and win medals in international and regional events.