The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan organized a ceremony to encourage sports in academic institutions by distributing cash prizes among the university student players who remained third in terms of winning medals in the 34th National Games Quetta 2023.
The 34th National Games, Quetta were held from May 22-30, 2023, wherein HEC secured 5th position. Out of 118 medals, HEC won eight gold, 17 silver, and 93 bronze medals. HEC players competed in individual as well as team events including Volleyball and Basketball in the National Games Quetta 2023 with departmental and provincial players.
HEC was among 14 participating units, including Pakistan Army, WAPDA, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan, Police, Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir. President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi conferred the ‘Best Turn Out Trophy’ upon HEC for being an extraordinary contingent of the Games.
Caretaker Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Mr. Madad Ali Sindhi was the chief guest of the prize distribution ceremony, whereas Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed was the guest of honor. The ceremony was attended by former Olympians, Mr. Khwaja Junaid and Mr. Shahbaz Ahmad (Senior), CEO Lahore Qalandars Mr. Atif Rana, Director/Incharge Sports HEC Mr. Javed Ali Memon, and students from various universities.
In his address, the Minister said, “We are prioritizing such policies that are youth-centric.” He said no nation in the world could make progress without investing in education and sports. Despite, curtailed resources, and tough times, we are working on opening avenues of growth for our young generation, he added.
Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed hoped that Pakistan will get many Olympians from this pool of young players in the coming years. He maintained that along with patronizing regulations for the universities in Pakistan, HEC regularly carries out extracurricular activities in universities to promote healthy activities among youth.
He stressed the need for holding regular sports activities in educational institutions. To motivate the players, Chairman HEC announced that cash prizes for upcoming National Games would be enhanced to Rs. 3 lacs, Rs. 2 lacs, and Rs. 1 lac for gold, silver, and bronze medal winners respectively.
In his welcome address earlier, Mr. Javed Ali Memon briefed the dignitaries about the way forward for reinvigorating and strengthening the sports ecosystem in Higher Education Institutions through developing a systematic approach towards player management mechanism and their retention.
Mr. Atif Rana, on this occasion, said that Lahore Qalandars fully supports HEC players to outperform in their areas of expertise. He also informed the players that in the upcoming Pakistan Super League, HEC’s contingent would be invited to watch Lahore Qalandars matches.