PESHAWAR: Like introducing reforms in all sectors with aim to ensure transparency and easy access to the people to improve their life standard, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has initiated eighteen reforms in the most important sector “SPORTS” which is directly enter-linked with the future generation.
That key sector related to the youth, has early been neglected by previous regimes, but this time the present government of legendary cricketer-turn-politician came forward and decided to re-structure Directorate General of Sports and Youth Affairs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa through reforms only to widen up its scope to benefit maximum number of youth.
Sports Directorate KP came into being since inception of the motherland but did not have the services of qualified coaches to train upcoming new talent in different games resulted down falls of all games in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Although the Sports department was established in the light of Charter of Pakistan Sports Board, yet it negates that mandate. The basic work according to that Charter was to develop nurseries of various games at grassroots level in KP by involving maximum number of youth below 16-year. However, it failed miserably because it has not been equipped or looked after the way it deserved by government in the past.
It was a clear fact that before the government of Awami National Party, the Directorate had a meager amount of fund for the promotion of sports and some small amount specifically meant for utilizing in the shape of annual grant-in-aid through various sports associations but that insufficient amount including associations grant-in-aid increased to a billion rupees by the then sports minister Syed Aqil Shah, who is considered as a mentor of the Pakistan Olympic Association in the country.
Surprisingly, now that billion rupees grant has passed on by the government of PTI and the overall sports grant has been enhanced to over a Rs. 2 billion wherein the associations, who were earlier getting Rs. 15000 for minor games and Rs. 25000 fixed for major games, are now receiving Rs. 0.6 million for major games and Rs. 0.3 to 0.4 million for minor games.
It is clearly evident that no attention was paid to sports sector in the past. Sports is considered as a vital tool to nourish children in their playing age because of bringing about social change through the use of sports and commonly referred to as Sports-Based Youth Development across the world.
In the 67-year history there were many employment opportunities and even in the last government of ANP a bulk of more than 900 people were given employment in five different sectors comprising Sports, Culture, Tourism, Achieve and Youth Affairs Departments working under one Sports Ministry but ironically not a single coach was appointed in sports department meant for the promotion of sports in the province.
Sport refers to the physical activity and development in any individual for health, social, and economic benefits. Sport is used as a tool to achieve lofty goals of peace and development. The programs use sport to help children learn lifelong skills as an incentive for the children. Sport is used as a tool to reach personal and community goals. Most organizations utilizing this method are geared towards underprivileged children and teenagers in urban areas.
Sports or playing activities is itself become a science which can be used for youth development and enhancing their physical
and mental capabilities that is why around the world sports is considered a medium to develop a healthy society.
Since the advent of modern Olympics in 1896, athletes have shown that sports enable people to come together in an effort to bring about global peace and to share a desire for self-improvement. Non-profit sports programs aiming to educate through similar means are part of an up-and-coming movement.
Through sport, children learn sportsmanship and other life skills. Youth sport can help them grow towards positive development and good relationships with others. Sport is a tool utilized to get young people involved in their communities.
Positive peer relationships are also encouraged through coaching as well as the physical activities which leads to youth feeling integrated with other young people. Through being involved in sports youth can gain self-esteem when they are enjoying the experience of taking part in a sport.
Sports help them gain lifelong skills and want to do better in the classroom as well. Involvement in sports have been related to one having better cognitive functioning as well as higher grades and rest scores, satisfaction in school, engagement in school, aspirations for college, and lower dropout rates.
As in playing a sport, “can alleviate the negative effects of poverty.” Non-profit organizations are founded in urban areas affected by poverty to help marginalized children by creating an environment to unite people across gender, race, religion, or socioeconomic background. Team-Up believes in the power of sports to help children learn and grow socially, emotionally, and physically.
Looking after the importance of sports the present govt led by legendary cricketer-turn-politician Imran Khan launched institutional reforms initiatives like in other sectors with the believe to give a change to people as far as improvement of life standard of the youth are concerned.
After initiating reforms, a directive was passed on to the concerned department to speed work for its implementation in no time. Among 18 reforms nine are notified in quick succession and other nine will be notified in two-month time, says Deputy Secretary Sports Adil Saeed Safi.
He said, the reform comprising setting up criteria for disbursement of grand-in-aid to sports associations, SOPs for distribution of sports gears, SOPs for talent hunt and player selection, banning of sports facilities for activities other than sports, constitution of provincial steering committee for playing grounds, district monitoring committee at Terhsil, District and Provincial levels, holding of capacity building workshops for M&MC, filling of all vacant position through PSC, early hiring of staff, Deputy District Sports Officer, coaches, introduction of membership system to sports venues, profiling and mapping all sports venues, establish code of conduct for officials, players, coaches, club, staff of sports facilities, establishment of provincial level advisory board for sports/event management, standardization of sports facilities according to international need, restructuring Directorate General Sports and above all the most important will be announcing first ever sports policy of the country in KP.
Owing to fact that the associations’ annual grant-in-aid was not utilized for which it meant for looking after the past experience and in order to get maximum benefit, and advantage of the funds of the annual grant-in-aid, amendments in procedure of disbursement are approved by the Chief Minister, KP in December last year.
Earlier, instead of lump sum provision to each sports association, the DG will release the respective share on case to case basis but not exceeding the approved allocated limit. One should intimate DG regarding completions its schedule, players list and venues detail prior to the competition being organized under the auspices of concerned association.
Provision of event photographs and press coverage, vouchers of expenditure and the associations whose performance is not up to the mark, it will not be entertained for grant-in-aid. To negate choose and pick old policy and ignoring talented lot, standard operating procedure (SOP) has been adopted only to encourage maximum number of players at Tehsil, District, Provincial and National levels and proper trials, venue and date would be announced through print and electronic media.
It is an established fact that for the first time in the 67 year history the present govt looking after the importance of qualified coaches that not only train and coach budding youngsters at grassroots level at one hand and on the other hand it help and proved a source of employment generation opportunities.
Certainly through this way due talent would be explored in all districts across KP where these coaches, assistance coaches and deputy coaches would be appointed in all 26 districts so that to provide ample opportunities to the upcoming talent to come and show their skills before reaching to the main stream of talent.
The reform agenda of PTI led government relating to sports was meant to ensure transparency and eliminate and discourage the chances of nepotism and favoritism in sports. Such steps of the present government would not only help exploring hidden talent even at Tehsil, District, Provincial and National levels but would also help these players to utilize their capabilities and energies for the glory of nation and the country among world community.