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Pakistan can gain its lost status in international Hockey:Shahbaz Sharif

Lahore:Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has urged the Pakistan veteran hockey players to come forward and train the upcoming youngsters and assured Punjab government’s all out support for the revival of hockey for gaining lost glory.

The Chief Minister gave these views during the prize distribution ceremony of the final match of the visiting Flying Dutch hockey team here at the Johar Town Hockey Stadium on Friday.

The Dutch veterans were so much impressed of the Johar Town Stadium hockey facility that they not only announced a gift of an artificial turf for Lahore but also said that they would make their visit a regular feature. On the other hand, Mian Shahbaz Sharif promised to allot a land for the new Dutch turf. Usman Anwar, director general sports board and youth affairs Punjab and Acting Dutch Ambassador Sunder Janshon, who also played hockey on the day, were also present on the occasion along with a number of Olympians and former international hockey players.

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that hockey is national sport of Pakistan and country can gain its lost status at international level by promotion of hockey. He said that Punjab government will extend all out cooperation for the promotion of hockey and a new ground will be constructed for laying Astroturf given by Holland.

He expressed these views at the medals distribution ceremony after international hockey match between the former international players of Pakistan and Holland at Johar Hockey Ground, today. Acting Ambassador of Holland, Director General Sports, former Olympians and other officials concerned were present. The Chief Minister said that the new hockey ground where the Astroturf given by Holland will be laid is to be named as Holland Punjab Hockey Ground and international hockey matches will be conducted at the ground.

The Chief Minister said that he was pleased to see the former international hockey players in action and the spectators also have the opportunity of witnessing the international standard hockey match. He said that Punjab government is constructing new grounds for hockey for its promotion at the lower level and he is confident that Pakistan will regain its lost status in the field of hockey. He said it is the coincident that while former international hockey players of Holland and Pakistan played a hockey match today, the national hockey teams of the two countries will be facing each other tomorrow in the semi final of champion’s trophy.

The Chief Minister congratulated the coach, captain and players of Dutch hockey team on their victory in the match between the veterans’ teams. The Chief Minister gave medals to the former international players of Pakistan and Holland and the trophy to the winning Dutch team at the conclusion of the match. The Chief Minister was presented a shield and a souvenir on behalf of Dar Hockey Academy and DG Sports.

When Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif arrived at Johar Hockey Ground, the spectators raised slogans enthusiastically. On the arrival of the Chief Minister, the anthem of “Choo Lo Aasman” was played. Former players of Pakistan and Netherlands were introduced to him individually. The Chief Minister thanked the acting Ambassador of Netherlands, coach, captain and players of Veterans Holland for giving Astroturf to Punjab government. Players of Holland danced at winning the match while the lovers of hockey raised slogans of “Shahbaz Sharif Zindabad- Nazwaz Sharif Zindabad.

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