LAHORE: After a long wait of eights years, Lahoris will finally get a change to take out their grounded kites and adorn the sky this week, as the Punjab government has decided to include the kite-flying activity in the Punjab Youth Festival 2014.
The announcement was made by Member of National Assembly Hamza Shahbaz Sharif at the unveiling of the logo of the Punjab Youth Festival 2014 at the Punjab Sports Board Gymnasium.
Speaking on the occasion, Hamza Shahbaz said that 5 million youth would participate in the festival, whereas 40 foreign teams were expected to attend it this year.
He said that colourful events of the special spring mela, including kite flying in Changa Manga Forest Park, would be part of the festival.
He said that the Punjab government was also considering the proposal of holding spring mela at Jallo Park, Lahore.
While appreciating the courage and enthusiasm of the youth, Hamza Shahbaz said that after the glorious success of the Punjab Youth Festival 2012 and the high standards set during the event, neighbouring countries were also following the activity.
He said that the youth in Punjab had set 12 international records at the last festival, while this year, a target had been set to break 100 international records.
He said it was appreciable that Pakistani teams were warmly welcomed in Indian Punjab. He said that with the promotion of cultural and trade contacts, people of both neighbouring countries would come closer.
Hamza Shahbaz said that the Punjab chief minister had allocated a sports endowment fund of Rs 2 billion for the welfare of senior players facing financial constraints as well as for talented players in order to provide them with opportunities to get recognition at the international level.
He disclosed that legislation in the Punjab Assembly would be made for the rehabilitation of more than 4,500 sports grounds in the province so that encroachments were not made there in the future.
Talking to the media on the occasion, Minister for Sports Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan said that the first sports university of Asia was being set up through the sports endowment fund in the province for polishing the physical and mental abilities of the youth in true sense. He said that sports academies would also be established in every district of Punjab.
He said that 55,200 sports and youth development councils had been set up in the first phase of the Punjab Youth Festival 2014 starting from December 23 at the village and colony levels, which would supervise 256 various events of the festival.
Besides individual and team competitions of sports, more than 20 melas, including the horse and cattle show, literary festival, kitab mela and spring festival would be arranged.
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