President honours winning women athletes

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday invited the two winner sportswomen of South Asian Games to the Presidency and gave them cheques of one million rupees each.

The President awarded the outstanding sportswomen Naseem Hamid and Sarah Nasir, who brought laurels to the country by winning gold medals in athletics and Karate respectively for the first time in quarter of a century.

The athletics coach Maqsood Ahmad and Karate coach Mohammad Riaz were also invited. The President felicitated them and awarded them Rs one million cheques to each coach.

The President felicitated Naseem Hameed, South Asia’s fastest woman player and Sarah Nasir, the gold medal winner in Karate and said the nation was proud of them for their tremendous achievement in 11th South Asian Games.

Paying glowing tribute to the national flag hoisters at Dhaka, Zardari said the sportswomen’s glaring achievement would act as a model for other women and would boost the morale of other women of the country to excel in the field of sports.

The President advised the government to devise a policy framework whereby distinguished sportswomen above a certain threshold were also sent abroad for training and coaching to further improve their skills for competing in international sports events.
He stressed for adopting same policy for the coaches as well.

The President said other Pakistani winners of gold medals in South Asian Games and their respective coaches would also be appropriately rewarded.

He also advised the government that the outstanding sportswomen could be made sports ambassadors.

The cheque distribution ceremony was attended among others by Mir Ajaz Hussain Jakhrani, Minister for Sports, Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hassan, President Olympic Association.