Vol. 5 Num 179 Wed. November 24, 2004  

Unesco award for Alim

Winning awards is nothing new for him. But now Qazi Abul Alim will certainly treasure his latest accolade. The noted sports personality was on Monday announced the recipient of the Unesco Official Award for Physical Education and Sports for Asia-Pacific.

The proclamation of the Paris-based United Nations body, was revealed by State Minister for Youth and Sports Fazlur Rahman at a press conference at the National Sports Council (NSC) in the city yesterday.

The 70-year-old Alim, winner of the Independence Day and National Sports Awards, said he was overwhelmed by the recognition even though it was kept secret by the sports minister.

Alim, who has retired from sports for almost a decade, will receive a diploma certificate and medal during the December 6-8 inter ministerial meeting of Unesco in the Greek capital of Athens.

"I have won many awards in my life at home but this was absolutely something unexpected to achieve from outside my country. I have been a sportsman since 1945 and it belongs to the whole sports family of this country," said the septuagenarian, a pioneer in the physical education development in the country.

"The standard of different games have been going down in the country despite there are facilities in schools and colleges. We have got talent but we have to nourish them. We need more dedication," added the former general secretary of National Sports Control Board and editor of sports fortnightly Krira Jagat.

It was the second international sports recognition for a sports personality of the country since late Zafar Imam, secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Associa-tion, won the IOC's Order of Merit.

Alim is still regarded today as the foremost authority on sports having authored

18 books on the technical aspects of games and sports. Besides he has 15 other sports publications to his credit.

"It is a great honour for the country. I kept it a secret after hearing the news from our ambassador in Paris Sunday night. I only informed Prime Minister of the great news before coming to the briefing," said an elated Rahman, who is also the chairman of the NSC.

"We will honour him nationally. We proposed his name at the council and he won the award beating a number of nominees from different countries. The decision was unanimous," added the sports minister.

The founder of Mohammadpur Physical Education College in Dhaka, Alim broke the then Pakistan pole vault record in 1951.

Sports Secretary Syed Sujauddin Ahmed, Bangladesh Football Federation president SA Sultan, Bangladesh Cricket Board president Ali Asghar were also present on the occasion.

A RICHLY DESERVED GARLAND: Qazi Abdul Alim (R), who won the Unesco Award for Physical Education and Sports for the Asia-Pacific region, is seen with State Minister for Youth and Sports Fazlur Rahman at the NSC conference room yesterday. PHOTO: STAR