In what was a rarity for hockey in recent times, country’s known showbiz stars visited the ongoing national hockey training camp for the build-up of WorldCup, here on Thursday at the national stadium.
The big Names included singer, model, actor and producer Ali Zafar, veteran singer Waris Baig, popular Punjabi singer Malkoo and female singer Nirmal Roy, who has gained fame through Coke Studio.
They all spoke separately to the players and lamented that Pakistan’s national game is not being given the patronage and recognition it deserves, and even Pakistan’s participation in the World Cup, which starts later this month in India is in doubt due to insufficient funds.
The showbiz luminaries spoke words of encouragement for the players and expressed hope that despite all the odds, Pakistan team will do well at the World Cup.
They mingled with the players and also sang motivational lines from the popular national songs.
The stars requested the federal and provincial governments as well as the private sector to give financial support to hockey on a priority basis.
“After all Hockey is Pakistan’s national sport.” Malkoo disclosed that he played hockey during his youth.
Waris Baig told that he had made a song exclusively for the national hockey team sometime back.
Waris Baig and Malkoo pledged to prepare a new song for the hockey team.
Pakistan team’s head coach, Taqueer Dar thanked the guests and presented bouquets to them.
Ali Zafar, who was the last guest, was presented with a hockey stick and a Pakistan team shirt, both signed by the players and the management of Pakistan team which recently won the Asian Champions Trophy in Oman.
Players were delighted to see the stars among them, “their visit has boasted our morale and now we feel more motivated to perform well at the World Cup,” they said.