A professional sportsperson is one who takes up sport(s) for a living and not just as a hobby. Professional athletes perform at different levels of expertise and in various forms to master their game.
So what is the motivation behind a pro athlete’s daily hustle?
Financial benefits? Rewards? Recognition? Appreciation?
I remember doing daily chores as a child that my Abbu would ask me. I would take them as a challenge and sought appreciation if I did those chores without a reminder. I expected a pat on the back or some reward from my Abbu if I was extra-efficient at it. Common chores included re-filling drinking water in the jug and putting it in the refrigerator or making sure I turn off the TV when no one was watching.
This in no way elevated my country’s status, nor did it make Pakistan proud of me because it meant nothing in the bigger picture. However, I still expected those little rewards because I did my work with daily-discipline and diligence.
Now imagine winning a Gold medal for Pakistan at the Olympics, or being the only blind cricketer in the world to score +200 runs in an innings. Imagine bowling a delivery in a World Cup tournament that gets selected as the ‘magic ball of the year.’ Imagine having a winning-streak of 555 games in Squash, or having the most goals ever scored in a World Cup tournament and keeping that record for over two decades after your retirement from the game.
Imagine being the fastest runner of your country without ever being trained by a pro, or turning into a pro-fighter in a country where you are second to none. Think of being all of this but still not receiving even a clap of appreciation or recognition, forget the reward or an award (minus the men’s cricket team)!
It becomes more interesting as the opposite – when you don’t perform well (or win), your fellow countrymen bash you, troll you, and even send you death threats. Anyone with a Twitter account or a paan shop owner gives you advice on your footwork while batting.
You still get up early, train six times a week all alone, push yourself to eat healthy, practice 4 hours a day, sleep on time, invest in supplements and sports equipment, and stay away from family during tours.
Naysayers will even advise you to give up ‘ this khel-shel’ and look for a ‘proper job,’ but these things are meant for the weak-hearted. I didn’t, I don’t, and I will not. I want to achieve excellence in my human-ambitions and support anyone who takes Pakistan’s name to places un-imagined and un-heard of- be it by winning Gold medals at the Olympics, World Cups, or Champion Trophies. I want to make my nation proud of me. And that is how the Pakistani Sportswomen and men think about their profession.
Pakistan Sports Awards is an exclusive platform for the Sportswomen and men of Pakistan, and it is meant to be inclusive of the entire sports fraternity. It is for all of us to show our respect to the Pakistanis who make dreams come true and bring accolades for the country. It is an event to thank our real-life heroes, honor them and inspire future ones to take the stage.
Come, let’s all celebrate what has been long overdue – The Sports Achievements of Pakistanis!
Pakistan Sports Awards
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