ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan kicked off what he called the country’s biggest sports gala — Kamyab Jawan Sports Drive — on Monday and said that the government had disbursed Rs47 billion in scholarships and Rs100bn in soft loans to the youth.
The sports drive is part of four new projects worth Rs4 billion initiated by the present government in coordination with the Kamyab Jawan Programme and the Higher Education Commission to keep the country’s youth engaged in sports and extracurricular activities.
“Besides promotion of sports activities, the government is also focusing on education and has disbursed Rs47bn in scholarships to 6.3 million youth, the highest number of scholarships in the country’s history,” the prime minister told a huge gathering of youths while launching the sports drive at Jinnah Stadium.
Mr Khan vowed that his government would lay a network of sports grounds across the country as sports gave the youth a healthy life and mental strength to fight the challenges in life.
“You win and lose in sports and defeat gives you a lesson to rise again. Sports give courage to the people to face difficulties in life,” he said, adding that since the country’s 70 per cent population was under the age of 30 years, the present government had so far developed 300 and 260 sports grounds in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab respectively.
He said New Zealand, a country of just five million people, had more sports grounds than Pakistan, a country of 220m people, adding that the present government was striving to develop sports grounds in every village, town, tehsil and district across the country.
The prime minister said that since a new sports policy had been announced, the government was taking all-out measures to reform and strengthen sports bodies and organisations and eliminate mafias from there.
Mr Khan mentioned his 21 years of experience in sports to advise the youth that they should never feel discouraged after defeat in a game as it provided them an opportunity to review their shortcomings and prepare themselves for the next competition with renewed vigour and spirit.
The prime minister congratulated his special assistant on youth affairs Usman Dar on organising such a big event and hoped that such talent-hunt drives would help further promote sports culture in the country.