LAHORE: The National Olympic Committee Pakistan, headed by Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hasan, in collaboration with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), held the first official Fun Run of 2018 Asian Games at WAPDA Sports Complex here Thursday. The purpose of the Fun Run was to develop awareness among the people about sports and Asiad. The event was held with full zeal and enthusiasm with the top officials of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), OCA media manager Jeans Zhou Jian, OCA international relations official Ms Elena Chakarova, Pakistan’s Asian Games medal winners, former hockey Olympians, too officials of national sports federations and more than 500 school children, college and university students participating in it. What was interesting that school, college and university females outnumbered the males. Media personnel were also present at venue to attend the Fun Run and show solidarity with the OCA. The 18th Asian Games will be held in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia from August 18 to September 2, 2018, with 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions in 40 sports participating in it. It will be the second time Indonesia will be hosting the Asian Games, following the fourth edition in Jakarta in 1962.Addressing the media, Arif Hasan, flanked by Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) secretary general Muhammad Khalid Mahmood, OCA media manager Jeans Zhou Jian, OCA international relations official Ms Elena Chakarova, said it was an honour that the OCA had selected Pakistan to hold the first official Fun Run. “I am thankful to the OCA and its president H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah for this opportunity.” The second Fun Run will be hosted by Bangladesh on December 11. Fun Runs will resume in January 2018 and run right through until July 18 in Jakarta – exactly one month before the opening ceremony on August 18 at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in the Indonesian capital. Arif Hasan said he was also thankful to all athletes, sports officials and school children for showing tremendous interest in the Fun Run. “The POA has directed all provincial Olympic associations to hold various events and engage maximum youth in it as to groom them and show them the importance of the Olympics.” Arif Hasan also distributed shirts, certificates and medals among successful participants.OCA media manager Jenes, who was all praise for the POA, said that the enthusiastic response of the National Olympic Committees regarding the Fun Runs showed the unity of the continent and the passion for the Asian Games. “The 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia are eight months away and the excitement is building around the continent. Our series of Fun Runs will bring the Asian Games spirit to each country and region and allow everyone who joins Fun Runs to feel a part of the Asian Games,” he said.Published in Daily Times, December 8th 2017.