Showing their support: Disabled athletes given central contracts

PDSA awards contracts for the first time in Pakistan’s history.

Nabil Tahir July 20, 2015
More to follow: 60 is the number of athletes who have been awarded central contracts. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: In a show of faith and support for the disabled fraternity, the Pakistan Disabled Sports Association (PDSA) created history by awarding the first-ever central contracts to 20 disabled cricketers and 10 athletes each from four different categories — badminton, table tennis, snooker and football.

PDSA chairman Sheikh Abdul Waheed, who handed out the contracts to the players, revealed that the contracts were supposed to be handed out at the start of the year. However, due to the untimely death of patron Munawar Mughal, the finalisation of the contracts were delayed.

“We had the awarded contracts ready as per our promise earlier and could have easily offered them to the players in January or February. However, the sudden death of our patron Munawar Mughal caused the delay,” Waheed told The Express Tribune. “Munawar not only arranged jobs for the disabled players but also injected heavy monthly stipends to support the disabled athletes. His death led to the delay but thanks to the PDSA board, his promise was kept.”

Waheed also iterated that the contracts would not only be limited to the aforementioned four sporting categories, but would induct other athletes from different sports as well.

“We will also extend central contracts to disabled athletes of cycling, volleyball, basketball and hockey soon,” he added.

The Pakistan disabled cricket team is scheduled to tour India next month after which the players will participate in the national championship from September.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st,  2015.

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