‘Participation in youth festival to further swell’

‘Participation in youth festival to further swell’
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LAHORE: Punjab Sports Minister Rana Mashood has claimed that the number of participants of Punjab Youth Festival (PYF) 2014 was likely to increase than previous year as around 2.8 million participants had been registered in first and second round this year. 
While addressing a press conference at National Hockey Stadium on Thursday, he stated  that last year PYF successfully entered in the Guinness Book of World (GWR) due to huge number of participation of over 3.2 million people during the entire activity but current year PYF 2014 recorded the participation of 2.8 million in just first two levels. Director General Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Usman Anwar was also present on the occasion.
In first level, the neighbourhood and village recorded participation of over 1.3 million people and second stage registered 1.5 million people for PYF 2014.
He said that the festival had revived the sports culture in Pakistan and courage the youth of this country for showing the more participation in this healthy activity. Replying a question, he said the survey to convert unused government lands into sports grounds had been completed and soon these facilities would be provided at the grassroots level. 
To another query regarding the Pakistan Cricket Board’s new chief, he replied “We all will sit together for promotion of the games in country and international level. As well as we have formed 11 committees for transparency of the PYF 2014 and Transparency International is always welcomed to monitor,” he added.
Mashhood disclosed that tehsil level competitions would start from January 18 which will continue till January 26 and January 29 to February 5 while after this next week divisional level competitions would be held. The minister informed that under the PYF, book fair would be held from February 19 to 23 and it would be the biggest job fair of the Asia history and millions of people will get employment in international market.
He said that players of 80 countries would take part in 22 events of this festival and 11 countries will participate in kite flying event. The minister said that the leadership of Pakistan and India had adopted the option of competing each other in healthy sports competitions instead of fighting at borders.
He further said that the 10-day activity of PYF UC level was started on January 5 and these competitions were held in 30 events and among five sectors. “The number of participation in Lahore topped all the nine divisions of the province at this level too where more than 350,000 youngsters exhibited their skills in different activities, said Mashood. 
PYF-2014 includes 11 sporting events like arm-wrestling, athletics, badminton, billiard, cricket, tug-of-war, volleyball, bodybuilding, football, fun race and weightlifting, besides there were competitions of naat, qirat, cooking, family dressing, healthy baby, kitchen gardening, debate, essay writing, national song and painting competitions were held among five sectors of general public including individual and family and education sector elementary for males and females.

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