First-Ever Hockey Academy In An Educational Institution Inaugurated

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Women’s hockey in Pakistan received a significant boost as the country’s first-ever hockey academy in an educational institution was inaugurated at Viqar-Un-Nisa Post Graduate College for Women in Rawalpindi on Thursday. Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Hanif Abbasi, the chief guest, inaugurated the academy. Among others, MNA Daniyal Chaudhry, Olympian Khawaja Junaid, Political Secretary of the British High Commission Cormic Dreelan, Group Head of Allied Bank Faisal Ghauri, and Principal Viqar-Un-Nissa College Zahida Parveen attended the inauguration ceremony.

“The ultramodern astroturf, which currently costs around Rs 35 million, was imported during the last tenure of the PML-N government. Unfortunately, this asset remained underutilised until now,” said Hanif Abbasi. “I must appreciate the efforts of the Khawaja Junaid Hockey Academy and Allied Bank for collaborating to make this facility operational for our female athletes. With approximately 6,000 students, the college holds the potential to produce future stars for the national women’s hockey team,” he added.

Daniyal Chaudhry expressed hope that the initiative would have a profound impact on the students and the broader community. “It’s encouraging to see the Khawaja Junaid Academy nurturing talent from the grassroots level, providing comprehensive training in both the technical and strategic aspects of hockey to young girls. I believe the success of this academy will inspire similar initiatives across the country,” he remarked.

Khawaja Junaid stated that the academy aimed to identify and nurture budding players to represent Pakistan at national and international levels. He outlined the long-term vision for the academy, including hosting tournaments, establishing exchange programs with international hockey academies, and producing players capable of representing Pakistan globally. “We have assembled an experienced coaching staff for the academy, and Allied Bank will provide financial support for coaching purposes,” he elaborated.

Faisal Ghauri, in his remarks, expressed Allied Bank’s pride in supporting the Khawaja Junaid Academy as a means to promote women’s sports in the country. “We are committed to empowering women. The launch of this hockey academy is a commendable initiative that we believe will promote women’s empowerment and sports development. Supporting such endeavours is crucial in nurturing talent and creating future champions,” he affirmed.

Principal Zahida Parveen highlighted her institution’s strong emphasis on female education and empowerment. “I’m thankful to Khawaja Junaid for selecting our institution for the academy. The college will continue to support the academy,” she assured.

At the end of the ceremony, hockey sticks were distributed to 40 students of Viqar-Un-Nisa College, while souvenirs were presented to the esteemed guests.

 

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