By Sohail Ali

LAHORE, Nov 14 (APP): The first day of 1st Athletes Forum 2020 Pakistan being organised by Pakistan Olympic Association  concluded here on Saturday.

The participants witnessed message of Thomas Bach, President International Olympic Association (IOC) who was delighted on the organization of athlete centric Forum.

He congratulated POA and its Athletes Commission, for the historic gathering of athletes.

In his message he said that “Athletes are not only at the heart, athletes are the heart of our Olympic community”. He appreciated NOC Pakistan for taking the lead in communicating about the implications of Athletes Declaration.

Bach admired that athletes of Pakistan for sending a strong message of confidence and optimism from Pakistan to the World whether in sports or in facing challenges in lives, we are stronger together.  The participants expressed their gratitude to Thomas Bach for sharing his message with the athletes, a message that will continue to resonate for times to come as encouragement not only for athletes but for leaders of Olympic Movement.

The athletes were presented a lecture of Prof. Dr. Stephan Wassong, President Committee International Pierre de Coubertin informing the participants about the origins and objectives of Olympic Movement as was envisioned by Barron Pierre de Coubertin Father of modern Olympics.

Dr. Wassong shed light on the link between greek antiquity of modern Olympics and the key element of educational value of sports that was the vision of Pierre de Coubertin and the way Coubertin emphasised on the Olympic Role Model.

The prime of the event “ATHLETES” were presented with informative lectures by the NOC Pakistan’s experts. Dr. Asad Abbas Shah presented the audience with Protocols of Sports during COVID-19, Nutrition and enhancement of immune system to fight against COVID-19. He informed athletes with the dietary preferences they should have to keep themselves healthy and fit. Dr. Lubna Sibtain, mother of Olympian Ms. Rubab Raza, shared her experience of grooming an Olympian and how she is working for elimination of doping from national sports. A combo of former and current athletes consisting of Ms. Sumera Sattar, Muhammad Inam Butt and Ms. Asma Akram informed the athletes about their rights, protection of their rights and foremost the measures athletes should take to exercise their rights.

Lt. Gen (retd) Muzzammil Hussain inaugurated the Forum and his remarks applauded the gathering of athletes and the objective of the gathering.

He stated that physical strength leads to mental strength that builds the community stronger. Former hockey Olympians Col (retd) Mudassar Asghar and Manzoor ul Hassan Olympic medalists were present to encourage the athletes.

Brig. Zaheer Akhtar and Ch. Muhammad Yaqoob honoured the occasion with their presence as chair of sessions.