What does the future hold for Inam Butt?

POA is sending athletes to the Summer Olympics on a wild card however has ignored real medal-winning prospects

Pakistan has been lucky sufficient to be residence to a whole lot of proficient and devoted people. These countrymen have raised the nationwide flag in varied fields together with sports activities irrespective of getting little or no assist from the authorities. Inam Butt, the wrestler, can also be one in every of these males. He is constantly making the nation proud by profitable medals at varied worldwide wrestling occasions. Despite that, the authorities, particularly the Pakistan Wrestling Federation, shouldn’t be giving him the amenities and monetary assist he deserves.

Butt a product of Gujranwala’s native akharas (wrestling rings) got here in the limelight when he received a gold medal throughout the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He repeated the feat in the 2018 Commonwealth Games additionally whereas additionally making his mark throughout different worldwide occasions. Recently, he grew to become the supply of nationwide satisfaction, as soon as once more, by profitable a gold medal at the first-ever Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games. Butt was the first-ever Pakistani participant to qualify for the video games, supported by solely 20-days of coaching organised by Pakistan Sports Board; whereas he accomplished the relaxation at his akhara in Gujranwala.  During the remaining, Butt defeated Georgian opponent Dato Marsagishvili, an Olympics medalist, who he had misplaced to only a few months earlier than as a result of a controversial resolution by the referee.

Butt’s subsequent goal are the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. In my opinion, Butt after greater than ten years of expertise in worldwide wrestling could be Pakistan’s prospect for the gold medal. However, the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has all the time laid extra emphasis on the hockey group and the medals we earn by way of it. There has been little or no real effort in direction of grooming athletes in particular person sports activities.

On the different hand, hockey, the nationwide recreation of Pakistan is in whole disarray. After failing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, the group’s qualification appears uncertain this time too. Bearing in thoughts, they should beat hockey’s powerhouse, Netherlands in two consecutive matches to get chosen. 

While POA is contending on sending one or two athletes to the Summer Olympics on a wild card, they’ve concurrently ignored athletes who’re real medal-winning prospects. Considering the scenario of hockey, the time has arrived for our associations to begin specializing in athletes with promising expertise in particular person sports activities as a result of we can’t afford to lose extra athletes to poor technique.

Out of the ten medals Pakistan has received in the Summer Olympics, solely two are for particular person sports activities. The bronze medals had been received for wrestling and boxing, by Mohammad Bashir in 1960 and by Hussain Shah in 1988 respectively. Although, each the gamers had been awarded the Sitar-e-Imtiaz, the authorities didn’t do a lot to assist them. Shah needed to coach extra younger boys in the sport however as a result of the lack of assist at residence, he ultimately moved to Japan with out getting the recognition he deserved. No matter how a lot we criticise the choices made in the previous concerning Shah and Bashir, it’s of no use, particularly if we make the similar errors with Butt.

It is extraordinarily essential for POA and different sports activities our bodies to rearrange for funds for Butt in addition to provide him the probability to prepare in different international locations in order that he can observe in state of the artwork wrestling rings and a minimum of have some expertise earlier than getting down into an Olympic normal ring.

Recently, the authorities of Punjab offered Butt with a cheque of , Rs. 200,000, for profitable the Beach Wrestling World Series, whereas gamers like Shoaib Malik have additionally proven curiosity in selling him. But assist can’t be conditional and can’t be event-based. Butt only recently needed to miss the Asian Wrestling Championship, regardless of coaching strenuously as a result of the lack of funding.

Butt’s case can also be a check for POA, as they’ve beforehand not been very eager on supporting particular person sports activities. POA should deal with Butt fairly than losing funds by sending athletes on a wild card simply for the sake of participation. I request the prime minister of Pakistan to look into this matter as nicely. Like particular person sportsmen earlier than him, Butt’s case shouldn’t be ignored and POA needs to be implored to fund him. By giving him the proper amenities and coaching, Butt might probably deliver an Olympic medal residence after a niche of 24 years.

I’m concluding my piece on this poetic verse of Allama Iqbal which I’ll dedicate to Inam Butt, Hussain Shah and lots of others like him:

But of his barren acres Iqbal is not going to despair:
Slightly rain, and harvests shall wave finally, oh cup bearer!

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