Lack of proper facilities and sports complexes in rural as well as urban areas, are giving rise to many health issues like mental health and obesity.
Syed Anjum Hussain Zaidi, 57, administrative officer of the sports department in the Government of Sindh said, “There are many benefits of playing a sport in daily life which helps you in maintaining physical and mental health.” Zaidi joined the Sindh Governments sports department as a junior clerk and is now the administrator of the Sindh Sports board complex in Nazimabad.
The complex provides coaching facilities in different indoor games, with separate courts of Gymnastic, badminton, table tennis, squash and karate. Such a facility in Nazimabad only charges as low as three hundred rupees per month only. 6 am-9 am is the timing for men, 2 pm-5 pm is the timing for women and 5 pm- 8 pm is for families.
It is believed that mental illness afflicts 15 to 35 million adults in Pakistan, which is about 10 to 20 percent of the population. Also, a scientific survey by Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES) back in 2018 revealed that 50% percent of Pakistanis fall on the obesity spectrum. Based on facts finding and research studies, it can be said that introducing a plausible amount of sporting activities in one’s lifestyle improves their mental and physical health expeditiously.
Zaidi said, “People accuse us of not providing enough facilities and the culture of the favorable recommendation of players but I would like to disagree with that because we do have proper coaches in every game that is played at the Sindh Sports Board and the Pakistan Sports Board which is near National Stadium of Karachi.”
“We already have national and international representation in badminton table tennis and martial arts. Intercessions are not possible in these games as these are usually based on a one-man’s show. In this digital age, people spend a lot of their time using cell phones instead of playing games physically,” He added.
In contrast to that Shariq Zahid, 30, who plays badminton in the morning is not satisfied with what the administration has to say. He said, “I have been playing badminton here for the past two years and seriously I have not seen any coach giving training to the players here in the badminton court. We contribute to the playing equipment and buy things on our own. There are hardly any tournaments conducted where the officials come to look at the raw talent and because of that a huge amount of talent is gone unnoticed.”
There is a generator that is supposed to be used when there is no electricity but when at times there is a power cut, we are sent back instead of operating the generator. Sometimes what the management does is that they get booking for private clients and companies for the tournaments just for the sake of money. He added.
Sindh Sports Board which is built on around five thousand yards was supposed to have an international standard swimming pool and a tennis court as well but the construction plan was not executed. Initially, at the time of its construction, an underground swimming pool with a tennis court next to the pool was not built because the construction cost would have gone high.
Zaidi said, “This was not due to any discrepancy, but it was because the government did promise us that they will provide a separate land for these facilities. Which so far they have not provided and there is no chance for that in the near future as well.”
Meanwhile, Salim, 49, who comes to the same complex with his son, shared his thoughts about the impact of sports on their quality of life. He said, “Such complexes having different sports to play with friends help him to manage the stress of a hectic schedule at the start of his professional career. I believe that passing quality time here and engaging in different physical recreational activities occasionally refuel me with energy to take on the upcoming challenges.”
Sports reinforce self-confidence, while they also overcome hyperactivity in children, enabling youth to rejuvenate and re-freshen themselves up to help them contribute more positively to society. Sindh sports board complex nazimabad is the only government sports complex in Karachi which provides a variety of sports.