How are Athletes Treated Differently in Pakistan ?
Athletes in Pakistan are treated very differently, the sports industry in Pakistan does not give enough credit to sportsmen who play other sports.
Sports in Pakistan have developed immensely in the last few years. We have so many athletes playing different sports and that is great to see. Usually people think Pakistan’s only sport is cricket. Although cricket is not the national sport of Pakistan, people abroad only think that athletes from Pakistan are good at cricket. Apart from cricket, Pakistan is also popular in squash, field hockey, snooker, skiing, track and feild, and polo.
There are many aspiring sportsmen from Pakistan who are exceptionally talented in the sport they want to play. There is one major problem for athletes coming from Pakistan: It is always difficult for them to go far in what they want to achieve. For example, there are many Pakistani hockey stars who have won many trophies and broken great records, Shanaz Sheikh, Sohail Abbas and Samiullah Khan, to name a few. These hockey stars do not get much recognition or praise from our people. These hockey players accomplished so much in their prime, but they were never able to make a lot of money. Players who play hockey professionally internationally have so much recognition, they get high salaries. Why is it so different here in Pakistan?
Young athletes attending high school or college do not even receive scholarships so they can use their talents and pursue a career in a field they enjoy. There are hardly any schools that give out good athletic scholarships to their students. So it’s very difficult to make a name for yourself without being recognized by a scout or anyone else. Unless you have a lot of money to make a career, you can not make a name for yourself that easily.
Most of the cricketers who play internationally for Pakistan had to work themselves to get into the position they are in today. Sport Scholarships is something that should exist in every country because it gives purpose to a student who is not the best in studies but in a particular sport.
The only sport that our Pakistani media shows us is cricket, and sometimes international events are reported. There are so many accolades and achievements of sportsmen in other sports but our media does not care to show them and neither does the audience. I am sure none of us can name at least 5 hockey players off the top of our heads even though it is the national sport of our country. How can we even expect athletes in Pakistan to pursue any other sporting career? There are hardly any training facilities for sports like hockey, polo and many other sports in which people want to make a name for themselves. There are many people who want to practice a particular sport but they hardly get a place to practice as there are hardly any training facilities.
I feel that this problem is caused by the schools and roots in this generation. Both municipal and private schools play a big role. All teachers think sports are a waste of time and distract from learning. Many teachers and parents advise their students not to play sports and not to spend time on them, saying that studies are much more important. This demotivates children and causes them to stray from this path. In my opinion, a great talent in a sport is just as good as a good performance in studies, if not better. Teachers and parents do not realize that being an athlete has many benefits and pays more than working a boring 9 to 5 job.
Athletes who want to play a professional sport at a young age can’t always do so because their parents want them to. Parents have very high expectations frrom their children, they want their child to be a doctor or an engineer. When there’s sports mentioned in the career talk, parents usually say that it can’t be done, that it’s a waste of time, etc. It’s sad that parents of this generation don’t believe that a professional sport is a solid career. This kind of mindset is a main reason why there aren’t many athletes coming out from Pakistan.
Overall, I feel as if sports are treated very differently in Pakistan. This should change and people should have a better attitude towards sports here in Pakistan. There are many young athletes whose dreams have been shattered because they have not been able to make a career in something they love.
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