We all know the benefits of staying active throughout the day. From keeping us fit to keeping our minds active and engaged; physical activity is a must.
Unfortunately in today’s fast-paced world, staying active when you can access everything and anything without moving an inch, is a huge challenge. Coupled with lack of proper sports facilities, this is like a health disaster waiting to happen.
Besides having ill-effects on the health, lack of sporting facilities are pushing the youth towards unhealthy and even fatal habits such as turning to drug abuse, violence, mental and physical health issues, etc.
Pakistan and Sports
Pakistan has produced a number of outstanding sportsmen in the past. From being cricket champions to lifting the trophies in hockey and squash; Pakistan has witnessed peak in sports!
That said, lack of sporting facilities and simultaneous deterioration of existing sporting facilities has led to dismal outcomes in the sports arena.
Around 64% of our population is comprised of youth and if you look around, there are hardly any proper sporting facilities available to foster any kind of interest in it. In a survey done for UNDP’s National Human Development Report, it was stated that 93% of the 7000 youth that were interviewed did not have any access to sporting facilities.
In a nation which has produced remarkable sports stars as Imran Khan (cricket), Jahangir Khan (squash champion), Mansoor Ahmed(hockey) and Muhammad Yousaf (snooker champion); it is surprising to know that it has the lowest sports budget in all of South-Asia.
Lack of Funding Has Led to Decline in Sporting Activities
Needless to say, one of the main reasons for deterioration in sporting facilities is lack of funding.
Pakistan, as a country, has been undergoing a difficult time over the past few years and allocating adequate sports funds was perhaps not on the priority list, which has consequently led to a massive decline in all sporting activities.
In fact, it is heart-wrenching to see that the youth of today are unable to identify the sporting heroes of yester-years!
How are Lack of Sporting Facilities affecting Youth?
As mentioned before, engaging in sports is one of the best ways to stay healthy fit. It is not just about physical well-being but it has far more out-reaching effects on your mental well-being as well.
Here is how lack of sporting facilities is affecting our youth adversely:
Lack of Patience
Engaging in sports teaches us team-work, patience and perseverance. Lack of facilities has led to lack of patience and most importantly, it has led to individualism in our youth.
All young children and adults need an outlet to vent out their energies and if there are no facilities available, chances are that they will be inclined to vent it out on the streets in the form of street crime and this is a dilemma that Pakistan is currently facing.
Increased Drug Abuse
Alarmingly, our youth is turning towards tobacco and drugs out of boredom as well as curiosity.
Our State Minister for Interior ‘Shahryar Afridi’ states that 75% of students in educational institutions in Islamabad are drug addicts, choosing nothing less than cannabis and heroin as their daily drugs. Similar figures were revealed for Karachi, Lahore and Multan.
Since cannabis and heroin flow in directly from Afghanistan from illegal channels, they are readily available for our youth through local dealers and suppliers.
Our society has gone all-tech and none of us is accepting the reality. Believe it or not, handing your smartphone or tablet to your toddler is equivalent to giving him a gram of cocaine; it is THAT addictive!
Additionally, reports reveal that the adolescent brain is not developmentally ready to resist the enticement of addictive digital media. The addictiveness is leading to inactivity and idle sitting and watching is further leading to various health related issues.
While our youth is starving to death on one hand, on the other, our precious kids are getting obese by the day.
Since there is a lack of physical activity, binge eating, preference towards fast food items and junk food items is leading to obesity; basically, physical problems.
These are just a few issues related to lack of sports in Pakistan.
Let’s all pour in ideas to eliminate this dilemma and save our youth!