The three-day 118th Annual Sports festival of the Government College University Lahore kick-started on Wednesday with a grand opening ceremony at the university’s famed Oval.
Close to 6,000 students from 30 departments of GCU will be participating in the annual sports activities that will include athletics and gymkhana events. Contingents of GCU’s various departments participated in the march past, including a number of foreign students and faculty members, while musicians from the GCU Nazir Ahmed Music Society (NAMS) presented a special anthem for 118th sports meet.
GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said sports and extra-curricular activities were as important for the overall grooming and personality development of students as academics, adding that such activities should be widely promoted in educational institutions right from the early years. He said he believed such engagements were key to curbing youth turning towards negative and unhealthy activities. The VC revealed that GCU students were also bringing international laurels home, as students Uzair and Haris had won the under-17 and under-19 squash championships in Doha a few days ago. The VC also appreciated the participation of physically-challenged students in the annual sports.
GCU Director Sports Khadim Ali Khan was of the view that GCU sports teams remained busy in camps throughout the year, but the basic objective of the annual sports was to involve students who were not part of sports teams in physical activities. He said sports facilities must be made mandatory at schools, colleges and universities in order to provide youngsters a healthy and active lifestyle.
Various sports competitions were held on the opening day, including the finals for 1,500-metre race, 3,000-metre race, shot-put, and the much awaited 100m race, with Hafiz Farooq of Physical Education Department taking crown for the fastest man in GCU. The competing team of Physical Education Department took home the trophy for 4×100 meters men’s relay. The sports festival will conclude on Friday, March 9.