Want to see one Pak female referee on FIFA panel in 5 years: Akhona

LAHORE           –         FIFA referee Akhona Makalima has assured her all-out support to Pakistan women, wishing to see at least one female referee from Pakistan on the FIFA panel in next five years. The Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) launched by the ‘US Department of State’ to empower women in the world through sports (with the support of Galaxy Sports Academy) organized an international leadership course in Lahore under the supervision of female FIFA referee from South Africa, Akhona, in which women players, coaches and administrators from Punjab and Balochistan participated. On the invitation of international hockey player and GSMP delegate Rabia Qadir, founder of Galaxy Sports Academy, Akhona Makalima, the first FIFA referee from South Africa, termed Pakistan as her second home. She said the women participating in the course would set new paths for female athletes and sports leaders in the country in future. In addition to national and international players of other sports including football, coaches, managers and administrators participated in the five-day course held at Government College University (GCU) Lahore, including the first captain of national football team Ishrat Fatima and the international player and manager Shaista Leghari from Balochistan. The aim of the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) is to develop leaders and mentors for the participation and empowerment of women in sports around the world, who can attract and empower more women in their countries to participate in sports on the basis of gender equality. Under this objective, Galaxy Sports Academy has started a series of training camps for girls at the local level, organization of important events and awareness programs in addition to inviting GSMP sisters to Pakistan, under which FIFA referee Akhona has been invited to the country for the second time. The FIFA referee also highlighted the importance of training schedule and diet to maintain the mental and physical fitness of the players and said that the players should be informed by traditional methods as well as modern research and for this purpose, they should be in constant contact with sports physicians and nutritionists. Akhona said that Pakistani women have the ability to work hard and learn new things quickly. “I wish that in the next five years, a female referee from Pakistan must join the panel of FIFA. I will provide support and help. Any woman, who is interested in becoming a referee, can contact me through Galaxy Sports Academy.”