KARACHI: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is conducting Talent Hunt Youth Sports League for the first time in the history of Pakistan through different Universities/ HEIs of Pakistan in 12 selected sports.\
In the Talent Hunt Youth Sports League, trials for hockey (men and women, aged 15-25) are under process at 25 locations in Pakistan, including Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
The trials and provincial leagues of weightlifting and wrestling have already been completed, ‘The News’ has learnt.
Sources said that ex-Olympians and male and female national and international hockey players have been engaged as selectors, coaches, and brand ambassadors for the initiative.
The key players involved in these trials as brand ambassadors and selectors are Rizwana Yasmin, Pakistan’s female Hockey team captain, Saira Ashraf, Momina Ilham, Ambreen Arshad, and Shaheen Fatima.
Olympians Shahbaz Ahmad (Senior), Islahuddin Siddiqui, Zeeshan Ashraf, Umar Bhutta, Rehan Butt and Rahim Khan are also on board.
Sources connected to this programme said that the trials of other disciplines would be started in coming days.
The trials would continue for a couple of months and then regional competitions would be held among the selected teams, sources said and added that provincial and then national level championships would be held afterwards.
They said that the Talent Hunt Youth Sports League provides a unique opportunity to young sports enthusiasts to participate in competitions of badminton, boxing, cricket, football, handball, hockey, judo, squash, table tennis, volleyball (for men and women), weightlifting and wrestling (for men only).
The sources further said that HEC under the banner of Pakistan University Sports Board (PUSB) is acting as a nurturing institution to build infrastructure of sports and an ecosystem that encourages university students to participate in co-curricular activities.
PUSB organises 35 men and 25 women inter-varsity championships every year with an aim to promote extra-curricular activities, sportsmanship and team-building skills of youngsters.
PUSB regularly urges students to actively take part in extracurricular activities particularly in sports to be physically and mentally fit for a progressive society along with focusing on quality education.
According to United Nation Population Fund Report, Pakistan has the 5th largest young population in the world.