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lack of grounds, facilities hurdles to youth’s development in sports

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SHANGLA: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has issued numerous of directives and notifications during last four years regarding construction of playgrounds at all tehsils of the district Shangla but yet it failed to construct any playground due to lack of funds and frequently changing the sites.
Shangla youth is talented and takes interest in sports but lack of facilities is causing spoil of their talent, however in most parts, boys play cricket in river sides between the rocks to fulfill their spirit of sports.    
Imran Khan in October, 13, 2013 had announced that KP government will build sports stadiums at every tehsil of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the former chief minister implemented his party chief announcement and built grounds in some parts, however despite several announcements and over 150 notifications and directives for construction of playgrounds at Shangla tehsils a year passed of the second tenure of the Pakistan Tehrik-I-Insaf led government but it failed to construct any playground in the district.
Wakeel Khan, a cricket player in Bisham, said that he was aspirant of the cricket to become an international cricket player but due to the non-availability of a cricket club in the area his dream could not come true although he had spent some time in cricket club at Peshawar but till that he was over-aged.
“There are hundreds of talented cricket players in the district who wanted to get chance at least in under 16 and 19 teams but lack of basic facilities of sports in the district are hurdles in their way,” He said.
The cricket player claimed that due to political interference government yet to construct a playground in the district where players could practice different games.
“We haven’t domestic cricket opportunity in the entire district where we can prove and show the hidden talent, with every passing day I feel frustrated owing lack of opportunity and facilities,” Izhar Khan, a young cricket player, said.
He said that he had attended classes at cricket academy in Karachi and Swat as well but for not having the recommendation and political approach I could not take place in under 16 team.
The absence of playgrounds and other basic facilities for sports are hurdles to local sportsmen and girls as the sports department has never been arranged for domestic sports events in the district.
Zakaullah Khan, district sports officer, said that in 2018 under 23 games two girls of the district’s different schools were declared winner of Tug of war and handball, while Shangla girls volleyball team remained runner up in division level competitions.
Hina Khyal, 9th grader at High School Alpuri, said that she participated in the volleyball team and despite not being involved in the game for a long time due to absence of grounds and facilities their team had the second position in regional level competition.
“I have a keen interest in volleyball but except playing the game inside the home in narrow space with sisters and cousins no any other option because of the government ignorance to the district girls,” She said.
She said that she doesn’t care of cultural barriers and local norms but always in search of opportunity to take part in the tournaments and show her talent at every level and platform.
Shams-ul-Wahab, District education officer for sports, told this scribe that there four major games students interested in, Cricket, Volleyball, Badminton, football because it is a fact that local people including students do not have the facilities to play the rest of games.
He said, grounds and clubs are required for both indoor and outdoor games that should be ensured by the government in the district to save the locals talent from wasting.
The DEO, sports explained that holding co-curricular activities in schools the local students are now becoming familiar with sports and different games.
Zakaullah Khan, DSO, Shangla told The Northern Post, though local youth aspirant of different national and traditional games even in Hockey but absence of grounds and facilities kept deprived them from the games.
Documents obtained from the district sports office, said that various sites for the construction of playgrounds selected many times but owing the local political and influential opposition the government failed in construction any playground in the district.
Document showed, four sites selected and measured by the administration sports department for Bisham small stadium but none of them acquired yet due to various reasons.
The current Prime Minister in 2015 had announced that a playground to be built in the state land of Kohistan Development Project but according to the land registration a case is under trial in the supreme court of Pakistan between the government and a local former owner, however, the later has built general bus stand on the land which case is still under trial in the superior court.
The landlord of the Lilonai selected ground has also obtained stay order from high court Swat bench because he is not willing to sell his land and asking to withdraw section 04 from his land.
Shaukat Ali, landlord of a property suggested by the sports department to the DC Shangla for the ground in Chakesar tehsil, has given an application to the deputy commissioner Shangla, informing him that including him the land owners are not willing to sell their land for ground as their lands are cultivated where they grow wheat and corn crops, hence it is also in dispute.
Similarly, a site selected at Aloch for Puran tehsil but funds have not been provided by the government for purchasing the site for ground.
The documents, mentioned that the district council Shangla had allocated Rs 10.2 million for the construction of playground at Makhozi tehsil and land has been  also selected but the site’s land registrations documents have yet to be provided to the sports office.
Mr Zakaullah, said except the Lilonai and Makhozi sites the funds shortage is main reason in construction of playgrounds in the district and this is also a fact that people sell their lands but asking the market rates and the government wants at government rates.
Additional deputy commissioner, Shangla, Maqbool Hussain, told this scribe that the local youth of sports aspirants faces multiple challenges the first is absence of grounds, sports academies for indoor games and also sports clubs for player girls.
Answering a question, he said the administration has not been received funds for acquiring land for the grounds, however sites were being selected at almost all tehsils.
The local players’ donot have sports kits for playing games, however he witnessed the local talent in the youth as they play cricket, volleyball at the riversides within the rocks.
The ADC further said the administration is in correspondence with the government for getting constructed playgrounds and provide other sports facilities.
Although the KP government, Imran Khan Announcements and minister information Shaukat Yousafzai frequent promises with the local youth, the establishment of playgrounds are  limited to the notifications and directives and never been taken any practical and concrete steps for the small stadium construction due to which local youth sports aspirants are unable to participate in games.

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