The stars of yesteryear honored
ISLAMABAD: A rare gesture of honoring the sports superstars of yesteryear was recently on display when former national and international athletes were welcomed to the Sports Directorate of Pakistan Armaments Factories (POF).
Among those honored was former international volleyball player Akram Qureshi who represented Pakistan for years, touring no less than ten countries as Japan’s national player and qualified coach.
Former Pakistani basketball captain Ehsanullah Marwat was the SAF Games silver medalist. Nusrat Khan remained national champion for almost a decade and represented Pakistan at two Asian Games.
Mohammad Jamil was the former Asian junior squash champion – 1989, Hong Kong – and the Malaysian Open champion – 1989-90.
Amin Qureshi was Pakistani volleyball captain 1975-76 and is a Level I Olympic coach,
There were also Shaharyar (cricket administrator), Maqbool Ahmad (national athlete), Lala Nazir (former captain and coach of the POA basketball team), Abdul Sattar (former coach of the POF football team), Liaquat Butt (former player and coach of the Punjab Kabaddi team), Mohammad Iqbal (former national athlete who won seven gold medals in national athletics), Rana Liaquat Ali (former national badminton player), Khalid Bhatti (former player national table tennis player), Zafar Ali (former footballer who represented Pakistan at the South Asian Games), and Ulfat Hussain (former international football player).
“We never expected to receive such an honor after retirement. Usually when you are past your prime nobody remembers you, ”said Nusrat Khan, former cycling champion. “I thank POF Sports Board for this meeting,” he added.
Ehsanullah Marwat said, “Nations that remember their heroes are always making progress. I am truly obliged to see that all of our former national and international athletes living in the POF Wah premises have been honored.
Mohammad Taufeeq, director of sports, said he has always dreamed of honoring those who have excelled in sport nationally and internationally.
“This meeting will make them realize that their achievements and their services for sport in the country will be remembered,” he said.
Senior guest Brig (rtd) Arif Siddiqui, former Managing Director of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), said these athletes have made their respective departments and nation proud. “We cannot forget their service and contribution to Pakistani sports.”