The Commonwealth Games of 2022 have been a source of great pride for Pakistan as athletes—primarily wrestlers—bagged seven medals in total. Mohammad Sharif Tahir and Ali Asad were the latest in a line of a handful of others who secured the silver and bronze medals after defeating India’s Naveen Naveen and New Zealand’s Suraj Singh respectively. These individuals have thrived despite receiving little to no support from the state, and to claim their well-deserved victory as our own would be a disservice.

Pakistani athletes have performed far beyond expectations by securing gold, silver and bronze medals. Six wrestlers in total participated, out of which five were able to defeat their competitors. In fact, new records were set when weightlifter Nooh Dastagir Butt with a lift of 405kgs. This was the first gold medal for Pakistan in the category in the ongoing games. To celebrate, government officials along with members of the public lauded the wins as their own and celebrated the achievements with fervor. This kind of support is essential and it should not come only when these athletes have gone through immense trouble to showcase their talents on such a prominent platform. The state and the people must do more to support local talent, especially when it is consistently proving itself at global competitions.

Winners like Nooh explained how little support there is for his sport in Pakistan. There are no training facilities, halls or quality equipment that would ensure that athletes can pursue their passions or train with the intensity that is required for competing on an international level.

It is unfair for the state to assume responsibility for their achievements without having done anything to provide them a platform through which they could thrive. There is a dire need for investment and development in the national sports sector. This is the duty of the government, especially when capable individuals have shown immense potential.