LAHORE, July 19 (APP)- Newly crowned World U18 snooker Champion,
Naseem Akhtar has urged the Government to patronage snooker to groom players on modern lines for bringing glory for the country.
“Snooker is a neglected sport in Pakistan and it needs Government
attention like Cricket as we have abundance snooker talent which needs proper training and coaching to perform to highest level”, he told
APP here on Wednesday.
Naseem who wrote country’s snooker history by becoming the first
ever Pakistani player to win U18 title in China earlier this month,
was of the view that alone Pakistan Billiard and snooker Association
can not promote snooker and Government must lend a hand to ensure participation of junior players in high ranking international events.
Naseem who belongs to Sahiwal said due to lack of facilities in
his home town he faced hardship to continue his association and passion
for the snooker. “I have to go to other cities to continue my snooker activities and it is the result of my family’s prayers and my own
hard work and the most importantly the blessings of Allah Almighty
that I was able to win the world title”, he said.
“When I started playing snooker in my early age my family specially
my father did not like it and asked me not to play”, he said adding
“But then a stage came when he acknowledged by skills as people praised
the level of my game and started saying that I have the potential to perform to a higher level and can win an international title”.
Naseem said the his success has given a new identity to Pakistan
worldwide and has played an important role in elevating the image of
the country which has immense talent who can excel in different sports.
“I think my title victory at junior level will help to further
promote snooker in the country and will serve as an inspiration for
the youth to take up snooker as a sport”, said the world U18 champion.
He said throughout the tournament he remained focused and has one
thought in his mind to demonstrate his best performance. “After initial matches of the event my confidence grew to a sky high level and then
there was no looking back and I was able to maintain consistency by showcasing my talent and technique”, he added.
The world U18 champion called for setting up a national snooker
academy where talent of the country be groomed one a long term plan
under the watchful eyes of experienced coaches.
“There is no short cut to the success , we have to design a plan
to train our players which is only possible by holding talent hunt programmes at provincial and national level”, he said adding “There
is dire need to have a modern academy where all facilities are available under one roof to impart best training to the aspiring players”.