Pakistanis are thought to be a sports-loving nation. However, it is a sad reality that besides cricket, very few sports get any attention here. This is why most sportspersons either maintain a side-business/ profession to support their passion or get disheartened and stop playing altogether. Even world-class athletes have to repeatedly appeal to the government and authorities to support them, so that they can make the country proud on a global level. Recently, a video emerged on social media highlighting the plight of young Guinness world record holder Farhan Ayub. In the video, he is seen sitting on the side of the road and demanding financial support for continuing his studies.
Source: Raja Shahzaib
Farhan Ayub is a young martial artist. He broke the record for the highest number of kip-ups in one minute in 2014. According to the official website of the Guinness Book of World Records,
“The most kip-ups in one minute is 34 and was achieved by Farhan Ayub (Pakistan), at Punjab Youth Festival 2014 organized by Sports Board Punjab, in Lahore, Pakistan, on 26 February 2014.”
In another video, Farhan explained the purpose behind his protest. According to him, he did his FSc five years ago and did not have the financial means to study further. Since then, he has been reaching out to various government institutions for support to fund his higher education. But despite his efforts for the country, he did not get any help in this regard. In addition, he did not get any reward for making a world record either. These are the factors which forced him to sit in a peaceful protest.
Farhan aims to break seven more world records, if his financial needs are taken care of. It is an ironic and alarming situation. On one hand, we have had players well past their prime, who did the bare minimum but still enjoyed government support and corporate backing. But on the other hand, enthusiastic young athletes like Farhan who are bursting with potential, have to resort to such actions even to get their fair share of support and facilities.
One hopes that the concerned political and administrative authorities take time out from their power politics and official red-tapism to address the concerns of Farhan and other young heroes like him. Otherwise, whatever sports and sportspeople are left in Pakistan will also fade out very soon.