A true sportsman in his heart, Zahir Aghbar, believes in leading from the front. The 49-year-old coach of the Afghan national squad is a man of many vocations. A former army man, this immensely popular former athlete employs his experience in his endeavors. Having worked in the government and police departments in the past, he is well aware of the system and the communal issues that plague the progress of Afghanistan. Through his work in sports, he wishes to make his country fitter – both physically and emotionally.
Aghbar himself works out equally hard with the athletes. It is a proud moment for him that four of them have qualified for the London Olympics. While he advises them to work hard and put in their best, he also hopes that the rest of the people, specially women, would put in more effort to get fit. He feels that sports can cure many women, especially while pregnant, of their many illnesses. He is setting up a gym and fitness centre for women.
In a land where a lot of innocent people have been killed and fear reigns supreme in the minds of people, Aghbar hopes sports can act as a healing touch. He also feels that it is time when the tribal and communal tensions within Afghanistan can recede. Like the Americans, who have elected an African-American president, the Afghans can also move out of their limitations and accept each other more freely. This is a hope that rests in Zahir Aghbar’s heart. And his firm believe is that through sports, this integration can be made possible.
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