PIA to help PHF for revival of hockey: PIA Chairman

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LAHORE, May 17 (APP): PIA Chairman Muhammad Irfan Elahi said on Wednesday that national flag carrier will extend best possible cooperation to Pakistan Hockey Federation for revival of hockey.
“Despite financial constraints, PIA is playing its due role in the promotion of sports and allied activities and we will be extending cooperation to PHF for putting hockey on the road to progress,” he was talking to media after inaugurating Punjab Chief Minister Women Hockey Cup here at National Stadium. Also present were PHF President Brig. (Retd) Khaid Sajjad Khokhar, Secretary Shhabaz Ahmad and Director General of Sports Board Punjab, Zulfiqar Ahmad Ghumman.
Irfan Elahi said the PIA has launched a scheme for revival of hockey offering incentives to its passengers and to provide financial benefit to the PHF. “I appeal to all the passengers travelling through PIA to take part in this scheme to contribute in a national cause,” he added.
He said PIA is funding various ventures for the overall development of the hockey and will welcome similar suggestions from PHF in the larger interest of the game.
PHF President Brig. (Retd) Khalid acknowledged the contribution of the PIA for the revival of hockey and said the scheme which PIA has launched will greatly benefit the national hockey. “At the moment PIA is not in a strong financial position but despite that it is always shouldering our efforts for the cause of the hockey,” he said.
“Through this scheme we will be able to offer attractive prizes to those PIA travellers who contribute in it and by that way we will be able to generate funds and resources to continue our hockey development,” he said.
To a question, he said, hockey is getting out of gloom which is evident from the fact that its junior teams have started producing desired results at international level.
“Our junior team which is on a five months long tour of Australia recently won the Australian national junior hockey championship and now the members of the team will be representing different clubs in the Australian hockey league,” he added.
He said PHF is laying special emphasis on the grooming of its national senior team and he was confident that the team will put up a fine show in next month’s world league in England.
“We will soon be launching U16 school hockey championship which will help in identifying new hokey talent. We are focusing broadening the base of the game,” he maintained.
He said the women hockey is also getting popularity and its standard is
improving with each passing day.