Last week I obtained a message from Shahid Zaman Khan telling me that he has accepted the position of Head Squash Coach at Boston College. He’s in actual fact the primary “skilled coach” employed by the celebrated establishment. Earlier this yr, he was signed up by the Harvard Enterprise Faculty at their Squash Teacher.
For individuals who don’t know him, Shahid was as soon as the brightest Pakistani squash participant, having risen to a career-best No.14 within the worldwide squash rankings. Shahid was Pakistan’s top-ranked participant on the planet for fairly a very long time. He gained a number of worldwide laurels for Pakistan each at dwelling and overseas however alternatives started to dry up and he moved to greener pastures in North America. It was in 2009 that he made the transfer, settling in Boston the place his first job was squash coach on the Tennis and Racket Membership, the oldest membership in Boston. He stayed there for 11 years earlier than transferring to Equinox Membership. Over time he educated a whole bunch of gamers at varied golf equipment and academic establishments earlier than becoming a member of Harvard Enterprise Faculty and Boston College this yr.
The Quetta-born Shahid won’t really belong to Nawakilli — the land of Pakistan’s squash greats — however he has nice pedigree. His father Gul Bahadur Khan was as soon as a outstanding squash coach in Quetta and educated varied main gamers together with brothers Zarak and Zubair Jahan Khan. He’s the nephew of Qamar Zaman, the previous British Open champion and ex-world No.1. Qamar is considered one of the skillful gamers ever to play the sport. Shahid has inherited a lot of Qamar’s wizardry.
Extra not too long ago, Shahid’s nephew Hamza Khan made headlines when he turned the primary Pakistan participant for the reason that mighty Jansher Khan to win the World Junior Squash Championship title. Hamza, who has obtained quite a lot of steerage and coaching from Shahid, gained the crown in Melbourne earlier this summer season.
“I’m very completely happy and blessed to be the place I’m at present, particularly coming from a really humble background and now that I’m working with all these prestigious faculties I don’t have sufficient phrases of gratitude to everybody who has helped me on this journey. I to begin with thank God and say Alhamdulillah for every thing I’ve and after this all credit score goes to my household. My father, my brothers Ali Jan, Wahid Gul, and Zahid Gul, who had been at all times behind all through the journey and by no means gave up on me,” says Shahid.
“I wish to encourage all the kids who play squash, to maintain working onerous. Should you work onerous, you’ll be able to obtain your objectives in life. My coronary heart at all times beats for my nation, Pakistan, and I at all times attempt to serve it. Not too long ago, my nephew Hamza khan, turned the world champion, which makes us very proud as a result of our household served the nation for thus a few years. That is very inspiring for me and pushes me to maintain working onerous understanding my onerous work is paying off. The truth that I’m, in a small approach, serving to my nation’s title fly larger can also be an awesome privilege and honour,” he provides.
Regardless of being well-settled within the US, Shahid yearns to serve Pakistan squash. “I’m every thing I’m due to Pakistan,” he says. “It’s nonetheless my biggest need to serve Pakistan squash in any capability I can.”
The truth that Shahid relies within the US as a outstanding and respectable coach probably makes him an awesome asset for Pakistan squash. Not like the previous when England was the ability centre of worldwide squash, it’s the USA which is now the sport’s heartland. Squash has grown in North America in latest many years and is now flourishing there. Again previously our legends like Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan made their bones as world class gamers by taking part in and coaching in England. If our present technology of promising gamers wish to observe of their footsteps then they need to play and prepare within the US. Again previously it was Rahmat Khan who helped groom Jahangir right into a world champion and Mohammad Yasin who performed nearly an identical position in shaping Jansher’s profession. Now, it’s Shahid who’s completely positioned to assist gamers like Hamza to grasp their true potential and change into world beaters like Jahangir and Jansher.
“I’m at all times out there to assist and prepare our (Pakistani) kids,” says Shahid. “It’s my need to see Pakistani gamers profitable world titles like Jahangir and Jansher and if I may also help in realising that dream then I’m at all times there.”
Khalid Hussain is Editor Sports activities of The Information