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PESHAWAR: Set to hold 31st National Games on 25 Dec

PESHAWAR: Much awaited and postponed twice, the 31 National Games are all set to get underway on December 25 at different venues all across the province including Islamabad.
Pakistan Cricket logo“Final touches have been given to the overall preparation for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the forthcoming National Games in order to hold the mega event in a befitting manner and make it a huge success,” said Syed Aqil Shah, Provincial Minister for Sports here in a press briefing at Qayyum Sports Complex.The games will kick off on December 25 and will continue till the last day of the year- 2010 (December 31).
More than 7,000 players both male and female from all over the country will participate in the games.
National games will feature 28 sports, including 7 women events, with majority of events taking place at different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Rifle Shooting, Taekwando, Wushu, Handball, Football and swimming events will take place at Islamabad,” said the minister who also holds the portfolio of President Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Olympic Association.
The Hockey event will be played at Abbottabad while Baseball is scheduled to be played at Mardan. The Rowing competition will take place at Khanpur Lake , Haripur.
The slogan of the National Games is Play for Peace. “By holding the event we want to give the message of peace to entire world. The security situation in the city is far better and we hope the event will be a success,” Aqil Shah said.
Sharing details of the arrangements for the sports gala, Aqil Shah said the spectators will not be allowed to come to the stadium directly. “Special cards will be issued to spectators which they can collect till December 23 from Qayyum Stadium,” he said and added that the card holder will gather at Karnal Sher Khan Shaeed Stadium (Army Stadium). Special shuttle service has been arranged to drop the spectators at Qayyum Stadium where the main event will take place.
All male school children who want to watch the event will gather at Government High School No 4 from where they will be transported to the stadium. The girls’ student will gather at Government High School No 3 from where in special buses they will be taken to the stadium.
The players and officials will be accommodated at three schools and two colleges at Peshawar cantonment and will be shifted to their respective venues through special transport service.  Aqil Shah appealed to players and officials to refrain themselves from going to markets especially when they are wearing their kits.
“We want to ensure their safety and the security advice is in the best interest of the players,” he added.
“The stadium will be handed over to police on December 23.  No one, irrespective of his or her position will be allowed to  enter the stadium without proper security clearance,” Aqil Shah said.
The Corps Commander in a meeting with the organizing committee ensured full support to make the event a success. “The army will provide security equipments to police and will also deploy their personnel for monitoring of the security,” Aqil Shah said.
To a question, the minister said some of the games were shifted due to accommodation problem, otherwise the arrangements for the said games had also been finalized.
A media centre has also been established at the Qayyum Sports Complex and will be handed over to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sports Writers Association.
The 31st National Games were originally scheduled for November 15 to 21, 2009 but was postponed due to security concerns and a new date of March 25 to 31, was announced for holding the biggest sports gala of the country.
However, due to the growing incidents of terrorism the event was once again postponed and it was decided to hold the event from December 25 to 31, 2010.
The events include Athletics, Hockey, Volleyball, Netball, Baseball, Handball, Football, Basketball, Swimming, Badminton, Bodybuilding, Boxing, Cycling,  Golf,  Judo, Kabaddi, Karate, Taekwondo, Shooting, Squash, Table tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Cricket, Gymnastics, Rugby, Wushu and Rowing.
Commissioner Peshawar Akbar Khan, provincial secretary sports Azam Khan, secretary information Azmat Hanif Orakzai, Abdul Khaliq Khan Secretary General Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) and other officials were also present on the occasion. – APP

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