The opening ceremony of much-awaited national leagues of weightlifting and wrestling under the auspices of the Prime Minister’s Youth Program (PMYP) was held at the University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore. Governor of Punjab, Engr Baligh Ur Rehman was the chief guest whereas Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Shaza Fatima Khawaja was the Guest of Honor.

Prior formally announcing opening of National leagues of weightlifting and wrestling, the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honor jointly laid foundation stone of state-of-the-art Wrestling Academy & Resource Centre Wrestling Academy and Resource Center.

The purpose is to build infrastructure in the country for inculcating sports culture and providing youth with an opportunity to indulge in physical activities.

While talking on the occasion, Engr Baligh Ur Rehman said that since 2013, youth-centric initiative, entitled Prime Minister’s Youth Program is getting improved day by day. He informed that in the program, sports related initiatives have been included for providing youth unprecedented opportunities of participating in physical sports. Wrestling Academy and adjoining swimming pool would be of international standard that is being funded by the Government of Pakistan, maintained the Governor of Punjab.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Ms Shaza Fatima Khawaja, briefed about Prime Minister’s Youth Program and said that youth have to work hard for the betterment of our beloved motherland despite being involved in discrimination on the basis of linguistics, region, religious or political. She reiterated that according to vision of Prime Minister of Pakistan, equal opportunities of growth and participation are provided to young men and women.

The national league of weightlifting and wrestling is part of Talent Hunt Youth Sports League, a first of its kind project in which trials for 12 selected sports are to be conducted in 25 locations across the country followed by provincial and national leagues.
The purpose of conducting weightlifting and wrestling trials is to provide an opportunity to the youth of the country on the grass root level to showcase their talent in weightlifting and wrestling.

Other guests in the ceremony include: Members of Punjab Assembly, Ms Sadia Taimoor, Ms Kanwal Liaqat, Mr Ramzan Bhatti, Ms Hina Pervez Butt and Ms Rahila Khadim.

Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, Vice-Chancellor University of the Punjab (PU) and Prof Dr Naseem Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, University of Veterinary and Animal sciences were also among the guests.

Mr Shuja ud Din Malik, Commonwealth Games (2006) Gold Medalist and Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in weightlifting and Mr Inam Butt, who is also Brand Ambassador of Wrestling Talent Hunt and is world’s renowned wrestling champion joined the opening ceremony of the national league.

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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