Pakistan Sports Awards and Agent Haq in collaboration with world’s no.1 sports drink Gatorade presents Mai Hoon Sitara, Pakistan’s first sports anthem. The anthem got an exclusive premier as part of the launch of Gatorade Pakistan Sports Awards held at the Punjab Football Stadium, Gulberg, hosted by the Sports Board Punjab.
The program kickstarted at 5pm with Sikandar Bakhat as the main host, while the Red Carpet was hosted by Arsalan Ishan, Mishayl Hussain, and Hira Hussain. The press conference featured representatives from PepsiCo along with the Chief Guest Minster Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, Punjab and Chairman of Sports Board Punjab. Notable figures present at the event include, Ahmad Shahzad, Asim Azhar, Aima Baig, Secretary Sports Punjab Fawad Hashim, Abdullah Haris, Sohail Tanveer, Director General Sports Board Punjab and Youth Affairs Adnan Arshad Aulakh, Vice Chairman Sports Board Punjab Zahid Qayyum, HSY, Atif Rana, owner Lahore Qalandars, Aqib Javed, Cricketer, Inam Butt, Gold medalist and two times World Beach Games champion, Afshan Noreen, Hockey player and winner of Best Player 2019, Nighat Kauser, Rowing Champion, Asfar Yaqoob, Hockey Player, Ahmad Ali Baig Golf champion and winner of Qatar Open 2019, Parkha Ijaz, Golfer amongst the many others.
The setup for the event was specifically developed with all SOPs in mind, including keeping a 6 feet distance in an outdoor area where there was an ample amount of breathing room for guests. Wearing of masks for all attendees was also made obligatory, with hand sanitization stations, and a digital PAX count display.
Commenting on the steps the Pakistani government is taking to help the sports industry grow further, Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, Provincial Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Punjab stated, “Sports is such a crucial part of any country. Therefore, the government of Pakistan has pledged to not only allocate funds for sports facilities but also for the rising stars who have continue to perform for Pakistan. Our partnership with Pakistan Sports Awards is one of many initiatives in the direction of recognizing the accolades of our sports persons have achieved for our country”
Asim Azhar, who also composed and wrote the song said “I was so proud of being a Pakistani when I found out that we have more than 75 world titles across so many sports that includes Hockey, Javelin, Squash, Snooker but also was disappointed that I didn’t already know all of this, and I wish through this song the whole of Pakistan realizes that sports heroes are real life heroes”
Aima Baig said “I feel honored to be representing the women of Pakistan in sports and I was impressed to find out that in 2019 more women won International titles than men for the first time as we now have a female badminton champ Mahoor Shahzad and also an ice-skating champ Malak Faisal! Just shows if we get a chance, we can also have female sports icon who can inspire not only women in Pakistan but across the world”
“Pakistan’s burgeoning youth population is brimming with potential. This potential is poised for greatness if we harness, mentor and celebrate it. One of the platforms to make that possible is sports. Sports can impact lives in profound ways, for the ones playing them and for the ones cheering them on. The moments of victory, sacrifice, loss and conflict cut across age, beliefs and differences. The launch of Mai Hoon Sitara in collaboration with Gatorade Pakistan Sports Awards’ aims to promote and appreciate our youth making strides and breaking down barriers across the breath of the spectrum,” commented Ayesha Janjua, Marketing Director Beverages, PepsiCo Pakistan.
The Press Conference was followed by the launch of Pakistan’s first Sports Anthem ‘Mai Hoon Sitara’. Produced by Ameem Haq; directed by Abdullah Haris; written, performed and composed by Asim Azhar, the anthem also features Aima Baig and Rapper Ramiz Ali. Conceptualized as a tribute to the country’s sports heroes, the anthem highlights the struggles of athletes from different sports genres who put their heart and soul into winning titles for the country.
Commenting on the initiative Ameen Haq, Founder and CEO of Pakistan Sports Awards stated, “As Pakistanis, sports mostly meant cricket for us perhaps because that’s the only sport that is celebrated on a national level and we are known for our love for cricket. While our love for cricket will continue to grow, we also need to acknowledge our sportsmen and women who excel in different genres of sports including hockey, kabbadi, boxing, snooker, gymnastics, running, etc, and are working tirelessly to mark our country’s presence in the global arena of sports.
Our partnership with Mr. Salman Iqbal, Gatorade & Punjab Sports Board collectively is our way of showing gratitude to our heroic athletes, journalists and trainers; while also rekindling the spirit of sports especially during such tough times.”
The overall agenda for the event was to promote all genres of sports. All attendees came to show their support for the sports industry of Pakistan. The event ended with fireworks to mark the launch of Pakistan’s first sports anthem: Gatorade Mai Hoon Sitara.