Renovation of PHA Sports Complex nears completion: spokesperson

LAHORE: The final phase of the renovation of a multifunctional public sports arena operated by the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) in Lahore’s Samanabad neighbourhood is nearing completion, a spokesperson confirmed on Sunday.

Originally opened by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) in 1981, administrative control of Samanabad Sports Arena was transferred to PHA in 1998.

Spanning an area of five acres, the facility underwent partial renovations in 2013. However, under the incumbent director general, Muhammad Tahir Wattoo, extensive restoration work was initiated last year to restore the facility to its former glory.

The members-only complex boasts a range of amenities including a state-of-the-art gym, swimming pool, snooker room, and courts for badminton, squash, and table tennis. Additionally, aerobics classes are also offered.

Situated in one of Lahore’s oldest and most central neighbourhoods, the arena provides convenient access from all corners of the city, the spokesperson noted.

To ensure the financial sustainability of the facility, the PHA has implemented measures such as offering memberships and renting out cricket grounds for private functions, according to the spokesperson.

Plans are also in place to engage the local community through outreach programmes and advisory boards to better align with community needs, he added.

Recognising the growing fitness culture in Lahore, the spokesperson highlighted the importance of providing accessible sports facilities. Many individuals, unable to afford private facilities in upscale neighbourhoods like Gulberg and Defence, rely on public spaces for their fitness activities.

In response to this need, the PHA has organised events like tent pegging to promote traditional sports and has introduced initiatives such as a yoga club and a modern rubber jogging track at Racecourse Park.

“We are dedicated to expanding opportunities for sports and recreational activities for Lahore’s residents,” affirmed the spokesperson. “Our facilities attract individuals from all over the city, eager to quench their thirst for fitness.”

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