The Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) has launched an ambitious project for the revival of game in the country. PSF is placing its players in the United States, partnering with squash associations and academies for the uplifting, educating and grooming of Pakistani talent.
PSF Senior Vice President Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab, along with the legendary Jahangir Khan, is currently on the visit of United States for the implementation of the project.
The project aims to provide exposure, training, and tournament opportunities to Pakistani talent by bringing them to the USA before the start of the squash season in December, for about 4-5 months.
PSF has now signed an MOU to partner with the Dover Squash Academy, which is setting up a 501-C non-profit organisation to fundraise for the project.
The Dover Squash Academy has been hosting players from Pakistan over the years, providing logistical and organisational support that helps overcome the hurdles of obtaining a US visa.
At the launching ceremony on Sunday evening hosted by Dover Squash Academy in Natick, Massachusetts, PSF Senior Vice President Air Vice Marshal Syed Razi Nawab said, “Our players are already world class but they are not ranked due to lack of international exposure, they have beaten players with higher rankings already. Bringing them here (to the USA) will improve their rankings, they’ll be invited to more tournaments, and hopefully there will be prize money as well.”
On this occasion PSF official showed a video featuring four talented youngsters from impoverished backgrounds whom the PSF is training, educating and grooming — Mansoor Zaman, Suleman Jilani, Mehran Javed and Ali Karamat. The process includes placing them at the prestigious HITECH University at the historic town of Taxila where they are being imparted a top-notch education as well as squash training.
Further added by the SVP PSF, “We want this to go beyond a one-shot deal, and to continue to bring in young players here. This will pave the way for them and open doors. We know that not everyone will become a Jahangir Khan or a Jansher Khan, but even in the worst case scenario, they will get offers from top schools and colleges here which will boost their chances in the world,”
Jahangir Khan while talking to the media correspondent said, “Players need international exposure, to go to the next step, in cricket, it is county cricket that gives the players broader vision, to see where they are and where they can go. It’s the same with squash.”
Answering a question regarding what PSF is doing to boost squash at home,
Senior Vice President PSF said that Pakistan team beat India to win the Asian Junior Championship cup and are looking forward to the next event in Qatar. “Our camps in Pakistan are based on scientific models, visited by nutritionists and psychologists and provided all the facilities possible, coached by Jamshed Gul.”
A presentation would be given by the PSF Official at the Convention of the Association of Physicians of Pakistani descent of North America (APPNA), July 4-8. They will also visit Orlando and Las Vegas.