PESHAWAR: Chitral Sports Festival got underway at Qayyum Sports Complex amidst great funfair with students hailing from different parts of Chitral and studying in various schools, colleges and universities in the provincial capital taking part in different games.
Senior journalist Nadir Khawaja, father of international table tennis player Fahad Khawaja Chitrali, was the chief guest and formally inaugurated the festical in which football, futsal and badminton will be played. A total of 14 teams in football and 12 teams each in futsal and badminton are participating.
President of Chitral Students Association Syed Abid Pirzada, District Youth Member Abdul Wahab, Chairman Shah Jee and a large number of Chitrali spectators were also present.
Nadir Khawaja lauded the organizing committee for involving Chitrali youth in healthy activities. He said the youth of Chitral had largely been ignored and lacked proper playing facilities that is why the youth had been engaged in sports on annual basis in provincial capital Peshawar.
He also lauded the present govt for approving two playing fields in Chitral for the first time and hopefully after the completion of work on these grounds the youth would utilize by playing different games in the native villages.
Mr Khawaja also appreciated Director General Sports Junaid Khan for giving due importance to sports activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially in far-flung areas such as Chitral. He said despite being the largest district of KP, Chitral had been ignored in all sectors, including sports, in the past.
He said Chitral was the key area contributing to country’s tourism but still many areas in the valley had no road access and if proper attention was given the district would contribute more toward promotion of the tourism industry.
Polo at the rooftop of the world fascinates local and foreign tourists but as far as development is concerned there is more work to do. He said the annual Shandur polo was one of the big festivals in Pakistan so the revenue generated from the event should be utilized on the development of Chitral only.
Earlier, Upper Chitral team defeated Kickers FC Club by 5-3 in a thrilling match. In the second match, Hayatabad Club beat Ayun FC by 2-1. In futsal match, Zeenat Club beat Chitral Student XI by 3-2 and Ideal Club Drosh beat Raja Bahadur Club by 3-1.–APP