Islamabad: The first Steering Committee of the project entitled, “Kamyab Jawan Sports Academies (High-Performance Sports Academies and Resource Centres) National Youth Games” was held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat. It was chaired by the Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail.

During the meeting, the Executive Director HEC briefed the participants on the projects planned under the umbrella of Kamyab Jawan programme. She underlined that the project is aimed to develop facilities and infrastructure of Sports Academies, including a separate lecture/meeting hall and hostel/dormitory facility for at least 50 to 60 players and six members of the coaching/support staff. These facilities, she added, will into full-time modern training and resource centres. She emphasised that the long-term objective is to develop HEC’s team to compete at national and international competitions.

Dr. Shaista Sohail said that the project will produce professional players in particular sports and help initiate youth sports movement and develop a sports culture. The sports academies to be established in the higher education institutions across the county will provide scientific support and modern skills to players for developing sports in Pakistan, simultaneously promoting sound health, safety, and physical fitness. She informed the meeting that the capital cost of the project was Rs. 1,937.429 million with FEC Rs. 103.851 million, while the execution period of the scheme is 36 months.

She said that the Sports Academies will provide opportunities for youth to get involved in physical activities as a participant and as a professional player, coaches, leaders, and volunteer. She maintained that the academies will provide cutting-edge expertise to champion players to further improve their skills scientifically. She asserted that the Sports Academies will play a key role in player development considering fitness, psychological and biomechanical parameters, including coaching and training.

The meeting participants deliberated a project implementation strategy and reflected upon development of Governance & Business Model for Sports Academies. The Committee endorsed the meeting agenda item pertaining to holding an International Conference on Sports Tourism by Karakoram International University, Gilgit-Baltistan in June 2022.

It is pertinent to mention here that the HEC and higher education institutions, where the Sports Academies are to be established, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Academies. HEC expects the higher education institutions to designate a proper land for the establishment of Sports Academies, develop robust governance and business plan for the self-sustainable model, and create the sports fund designated for sports activities. The universities will also be expected to carry out proper marketing by formulating branding strategies for revenue generation. The designated HEIs will hire/allocate professional human resources for management to run the sports academies.

Another important segment of the project is the National Youth Games with Youth Rally. In this regard, organizing sub-committees will be constituted to be responsible for all operational matters of games for the timely and orderly arrangement of all events in the region. This sub-committee will recommend any administrative/financial/technical/Operational matter to Steering Committee for consideration and decision. They will ensure that all participating universities may keep informed about all necessary technical and other arrangements. They will be responsible for the financial disbursement and subsequently reconcile the allocated budget for Audit and Accounts, with overall responsibility for organising, managing, and concluding the games.

The meeting was attended in person or through video link by Vice Chancellors of different universities, including Vice President International Islamic University, Islamabad; Vice Chancellor, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan; Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore; Vice Chancellor, Bahauddin Zakriya University, Multan; Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi, Karachi; Vice Chancellor, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam; Vice Chancellor, Karakoram International University, Gilgit Baltistan; Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Vice Chancellor, BUITEMS, Quetta; Vice Chancellor, NED UET, Karachi; Vice Chancellor, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Karachi; and Vice Chancellor, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore; Representative of University of Peshawar; alongside Mr. Shahid Islam Dy. Director General, Pakistan Sports Board, a representative from planning, Development & Special Initiative (S&T), and a representative from KJ Youth Development Programme along with various Director Sports of the Universities of Pakistan.

From HEC, Advisor A&C HEC Mr. Awais Ahmed, In-charge Director Sports & Co-Curricular Division, HEC Javed Ali Memon, and Director Monitoring & Evaluation, HEC, Mr. Naveed Shah, a representative of HEC Planning and Development Division and other HEC Officers attended the meeting.

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