Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has announced that players of National Hockey Team will be recruited as police officer in Police Department and they will also get promotion chances. He said that all possible support will be provided to the players for the promotion of national sport, hockey so that they should pay full attention to their game without any economic burden and win laurels for the country and the nation in hockey. The Chief Minister said that Punjab government has always extended cooperation to Pakistan Hockey Federation and this cooperation will be continued in future as well. The Chief Minister while giving a cheque of Rs.50 lakh to National Hockey Team, announced that new Astroturf will be laid in Punjab University ground in Lahore and Vehari besides Astroturf of Gojra will be changed.
He expressed these views during a meeting with National Hockey Team, here today. Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly, Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, President Pakistan Hockey Federation Qasim Zia, Manager and Head Coach National Hockey Team Ch. Akhtar Rasool, Secretary Youth Affairs and Sports, DG Sports and officials of National Hockey Team were also present on the occasion.
Talking to the National Hockey Team, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government has provided record funds for the promotion of sports in the province and successfully held international sports festival for providing sports opportunities to the youth. He said that best Johar Hockey Stadium has been constructed in Johar Town for the promotion of hockey and similar stadiums will also be constructed in other cities of the province. The Chief Minister disclosed that a committee headed by Ch. Akhtar Rasool has been constituted for recruiting hockey players in Police Department and other matters relating to hockey and the recommendations of the committee will be implemented in letter and spirit. The Chief Minister while welcoming the National Hockey Team and office-bearers of Hockey Federation, said that National Hockey Team has won a medal in hockey after a long time which is a good omen. He expressed the hope that after bronze medal, team will certainly get a gold medal. He stressed upon the National Hockey Team players to work hard and make preparations for Hockey World Cup 2014 by considering it a challenge and give a gift to the nation by winning this cup. Shahbaz Sharif directed that holding of Chief Minister League International Hockey Tournament at provincial metropolis should be considered. He said that foreign teams should be invited and tournaments be arranged and Punjab government will extend full cooperation in this regard. He directed that the planning of laying new Astroturf in Punjab University ground Lahore and Vehari should immediately be made and implemented.
President Pakistan Hockey Federation Qasim Zia, expressing his views on the occasion, said that he is thankful to Chief Minister Punjab who is cooperating for the promotion of hockey. He said that although hockey federation is a federal subject but he cannot forget the cooperation extended by Punjab government. He said that Punjab government by ensuring the successful holding of international sports festival, has proved that it can provide all kind of security for sports. Qasim Zia said that the way Shahbaz Sharif has patronized the hockey, Chief Minister of any other province did not do so upon which he is thankful to him. He said that Pakistan Hockey Team has come on number five from nine and become number one team of Asia. He said that the hockey team will also come up to the expectations of the nation in future as well. Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly, Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan said that the game of hockey has been revived again due to the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister. He said that the decision of recruiting hockey players in police is a welcoming step which will help further promote this game. Captain National Hockey Team, M. Imran said that they are thankful to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif for extending respect and honour to National Hockey Team. He expressed the hope that they will regain the lost status of Pakistan in hockey. Players of National Hockey Team, office-bearers of hockey federation and team thanked the Chief Minister for patronizing hockey.