2017, in many ways was a landmark year for IAK and leading from the front was the IAK Sports Program! Last year’s sports program was an immense success but was only limited to, as the name suggested, sports. In the last twelve month, it evolved into an initiative that was not only aimed at rehabilitating citizens from under-served communities but also reclaiming public spaces and promoting an alternative, healthy lifestyle.
2,715 enrollees in Football, Hockey, Squash, MMA, Table Tennis, Athletics and Self-Defense trainings reaped the full benefits of our workings this year participating in weekly classes leading up to 6 tournaments that culminated with the IAK Sports Carnival. It wasn’t all brawn as close to 25, 000 indirect beneficiaries saw upfront how the sports program was changing lives.
Areas such as Sarjani Town, Korangi, Lyari, North Karachi, Sohrab Goth, Gulshan E Hadid and Gulshan E Iqbal were visited by IAK but not just for the introduction for sports. IAK opened 21 sports academies (in partnerships with legends like Naseem Hameed and Jahangir Khan) that contained gyms and Youth Cafes for regular attendees to promote a model of self-sustenance for the academy. Be it girls in Manghopir learning self-defense or football in Lyari, the program provided not only sporting training but also chances for employment through the fellowship programs. These fellows now serve as advocates for change in these communities and will continue to do so in the future when IAK comes back with the third edition of its Sports Program!