PESHAWAR:The first Roman Gul Beneficial Open Tennis Tournament got underway here at historical Pakistan Tennis Club, Shahi Bagh Peshawar under the aegis of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tennis Association on Saturday.
Former Sports Minister and Senior Vice President Pakistan Olympic Association Syed Aqil Shah was the chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the Tournament carrying different categories including U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18.
Known cardiologist Dr. Farhat Abbas is sponsoring the tournament wherein more than 140 players are taking part. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Tahir, Chairman KP Tennis Association, DIG Muhammad Saleem Marwat, Amir Yousuf Advocate, Administrator Shahi Bagh Club Hamid Ali, Secretary Tennis Association Umar Ayaz Khalil, Former Director Sports Frontier College Rahm Bibi, In-charge Sports Directorate Ashfaq Ahmed and other personalities were present.
Pakistan number one tennis player Aqeel Khan along with 140 best ranked players of the country will participate in the tournament. Different age group competitions will be held. Pakistan number one besides Aqeel Khan, Ejaz Ahmed, Kashan Umar, Saqib Umar, Hamza Roman, Shah Sawar, Taimur Khan, Salar Khan, Ehsan, Shahid Afridi were among leading ranking players.
The closing ceremony will be held on October 30 in which the players will be awarded trophies, certificates and cash prizes. The players would compete in U10, U14, U16, U18 singles, doubles competitions, Men singles and veteran singles and doubles competitions. The prize money of the event has been fixed at Rs. 300,000.
Talking to media men, Dr. Farhat Abbas said that the aim and objective of the tournament is to support Roman Gul, who recently did an open heart surgery which received a heart-attack during the coaching and training camp.
He said, Roman Gul has been a key contributor as far as promotion of tennis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is concerned. He said the event would also help the upcoming youngsters to have competitive exposures through this way.
Speaking on this occasion, Syed Aqil Shah lauded the efforts of Roman Gul for the promotion of Tennis in the province. He said the players he coached and trained are now producing results as top rank players in the Tennis circle.
He also appreciated Dr. Farhat Abbas for his generous support by announcing Rs. 300,000 as prize money besides extending financial support to ailing Roman Gul, a tennis coach in the Directorate of Sports KP Tennis Courts at Qayyum Sports Complex.
Earlier, he along with Dr. Tahir, Dr. Farhat Abbas, Secretary KP Tennis Association Umar Ayaz Khan Khalil formally inaugurated the tournament in a colourful opening ceremony.