A hockey tournament involving 28 teams in Faisalabad, Pakistan, provided an ideal opportunity to reach hockey fans and encourage them to be a part of stamping out polio in Pakistan, one of the three remaining countries where transmission of the virus has never been stopped.
The Rotary Club of Lahore Garrison, Punjab, teamed up with the Paradise Hockey Club to organize the Fatima-Shah Muhammad Memorial Hockey Tournament in March. The theme of the tournament was “End Polio Now/Make Pakistan Polio Free.”
The End Polio Now message was shared with the audience between each match. A polio awareness walk was held before the start of the final match between team Kanga and the Paradise Hockey Club. Many children took part in the walk, and learned about the importance of polio eradication. Parents, and all the adults in attendance, were reminded that all children less than five years of age should receive the polio drops at each National Immunization Day campaign. Badges and pencils with an eradication message were given to all the children.
Polio awareness wall clocks and T-shirts with a polio eradication message were presented to the top eight teams in the tournament. The tournament was attended by special guests Lt. Gen. Ch Sardar Ali, Col. Nawab Ali, and Mukhtar Ahmed.
It was a wonderful event, and received good media coverage in both print and online publications. The Rotarians were able to help motivate those in attendance to work to rid Pakistan of this horrible disease.