LAHORE   -  Students from different universities on Sunday participated in the five-kilometre marathon that began from the Governor House. The faculty members stood under the clock tower of Government College University (GCU) to cheer those who crossed the finish line.

The marathon marked beginning of the weeklong activities of student societies, hosted by the GCU, in collaboration with the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Lahore-City of Literature through Lahore commissioner, Superior University and non-government organisations (NGOs) including Bargad Organisation for Youth Development and Shaoor Foundation for Education and Awareness.

GCU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, who also participated in the marathon and was among those who finished the cross line, said that it was his first time running such a long distance, and that the great atmosphere and support of his students were what kept him going. He said that last stretch was the hardest, but it was an amazing experience and amazing fanfare.

Lahore Commissioner Capt (retd) Muhammad Usman inaugurated the marathon with a gunshot, saying that it was an amazing sporting activity for the youth who had come from different universities across Pakistan. He wished all the participants in the race to finish strong. He said that the GCU vice chancellor was a role model as he always led his students not only in academics but also sports.

Muhammad Akhtar from the University of Central Punjab (UCP) won the marathon finishing the crossline first. The first 10 winners of the race were awarded cash prizes. The winners included Aftab Haram, Kaleem Akhtar, Ali Hadi, Osama Hassan and Sufiyan.

The marathon was followed by a grand march past of student societies at the GCU’s oval ground. Besides debates contest, theatrical festival, essay and poetry writing competitions, painting exhibitions and music concert, the weeklong events will include discussions among leading experts, scholars and students on wide-range of topics. The sports activities at the summit included grand march-past, cricket, hockey squash, tennis and basketball matches.