PESHAWAR, Apr 18 (APP):The first Merger Tribal Districts Games carrying more than 3000 male and female athletes in 31 different disciplines got under way at beautifully decorated Jamrud Sports Complex, Jamrud Tehsil, District Khyber under the aegis of the Directorate of Sports Merged area on Thursday.

Senior Minister for Sports, Culture, Tourism and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan was the chief guest on this occasion who formally inaugurated the Games. Deputy Commissioner Khyber Mehmood Aslam, Director General Sports and Managing Director Tourism Corporation KP Junaid Khan, Assistant Commissioner Landikotal Imran Khan, AC Jamrud Salim Jan, Director Sports Merger District Muhammad Nawaz Khan, Sports Manager Ayub Khan, Rahad Gul Mollah Gori, Awan Hussain, Saeed Akhtar, Aamir Iqbal, Assistant Director Female Games Nazia Zaki, officials, players and large number of spectators were also present.

It is for the first time after the merger of the tribal districts 3000 players in 31 different from seven districts comprising Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Khurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan, and six sub-district Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki, and Tank are taking part.

The female are taking part in five different games including athletic, tug of war, badminton, table tennis, volleyball while the male are take part in athletics, archery, basketball, badminton, boxing, cycling, cricket, football, netball, gymnastic, hockey, judo, jujitsu, karate, kabaddi, netball, rugby, tug of war, shooting, tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, wushu, baseball, bodybuilding and weightlifting.

All the games are being organized in seven different districts in order to provide ample opportunities to the players of merger tribal districts.

The colourful ceremony was started with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Qari Adnan, followed by National Anthem and a smart March Past by all the participating contingents wearing multi-colour track-suites. Former International boxer Siraj Khan led all the contingents by carrying National flag. The marchers were also followed by a team of tribal districts scouts. The contingents also received thundering applauses from the jam-packed spectators’ fence.

The Khattak, Mehsud and Betani contingents with their superb dance performance enthralled the sitting spectators, followed by a stunning gymnastic and martial art display which clearly indicated the talent that tribal districts have in the field of sports.

Speaking on this occasion, Senior Minister Muhammad Atif Khan lauded the tribal youth for their active participation. He said there is no dearth of talent and that is why opportunities have been given to the players of Merger Tribal Districts to come and exhibit their hidden talent.

He also lauded Director General Sports KP Junaid Khan, Secretary Sports KP Rashad Mehmood, Director Sports Nawaz Khan and his team for their untiring efforts in involving thousands of players in healthy sports activities. He said the govt is committed to provide much updated facilities to the players of merger tribal districts and that is why initiative has been taken for the construction of playing fields in almost all 25 Tehsils across Merger Tribal Districts.

He said as desired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, due attention have been given to provide all out facilities to the youth of merger tribal districts. He said along with sports, govt is also focusing on exploring tourism potential in merger tribal districts.

Earlier, he formally announced the opening of the seven-day games. In Khyber games for persons with disabilities will also be organized. Weightlifting, bodybuilding, baseball, boxing, karate, taekwondo, judo, jujitsu, wushu, gymnastic, archery, rugby, feetball in Khyber, Kabaddi in Mohmand, Netball in Orakzai, Table Tennis and Badminton in Bajaur, Volleyball and cricket in North Waziristan, Football in South Waziristan, Basketball, Athletics, Cycling in Khurram and Tug of war and hockey in Sub-Division District Kohat will be organized while the five female Games will be organized in Khyber and Mohmand. Badminton, Table Tennis and Athletic of Female will be organized in Khyber and Tug of War and Volleyball will be organized in Mohmand.