In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Thursday, Col Waseem said: “We are very grateful to the Korean Ambassador who not only accepted our invitation but also promised to help us in organising national Taekwondo championship, in which all the provinces and departments will take part from May 12 to 17.”
He said they were very grateful to former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani who on their request sanctioned a special grant of Rs 10 million to the federation which helped them a lot in purchasing world class equipment from Spanish company Daedo.
“Our players lack behind due to non-availability of modern equipment but from now on, they will produce more than desired results as now they are going to use international standard equipment. We want to establish camps in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on regular basis for the upcoming Asian Junior Championship in Indonesia in June, then World Taekwondo championship in Mexico in July. We also need to send our players to get training in Spain to know how to utilize these advanced equipment and for these purposes, we at least require Rs five million immediately,” the PTF secretary added.
“It is my humble request to Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) Director General Syed Amir Hamza Gilani, who is himself an athlete and national record holder, to sanction this grant from the special fund. It is my promise the players and the federation will not disappoint them in return and soon start producing desired results in international events,” he said.
“The IOC has promised through POA to send five Pakistan players abroad for preparations of the Asian Games to be held in Korea next year. We want to establish camps especially at grass roots level,” said. “We have held meetings with Uzbekistan and Indonesian federations to train our players there. They have agreed but to achieve this goal we need funds. The PSB has yet to clear our third term grant.”
We have other bright players such as Atif, M Ashfaq, Shah Adil, Maham Aftab, Kiran Bano, Sana Imdad, Asia Batool and Najia Khan. We are investing a lot on them and are quite hopeful they will win medals in international events,” the PTF secretary said. He said the federation was doing what it could, but to achieve excellent results, the PSB and government had to lend a helping hand as it was an individual sports unlike of hockey, cricket or football which were team games. “A single taekwondo player can win six or seven medals in a single championship by participating in different categories. We have spent each and every penny we receive in the shape of grants and also utilize all close sources to get donations in a transparent manner. Our accounts are always available if anyone wants to have a check as no one can raise finger and allege any misuse of funds,” Col Waseem concluded.