Naseem Hameed is a Pakistani athlete, who became the fastest woman of South Asia on Monday, February 9, 2010, when she won the 100 meter event of the 11th South Asian Federation Games. It resulted in her earning the nickname ‘Queen of Tracks’, having covered the 100 meters in an astounding 11.81 seconds. She outran 40 different athletes in the competition.
Started off at Age Fourteen:
For Naseem, her career started when she was in school. She participated in various events related to sports from the age of fourteen during her time in school and at college. She was noticed by the Army officials when she represented her college in the National Championships for Army, as a potentially good sprinter. Because of this she was allowed to practice in Army grounds near Korangi. Afterwards, her consistent performance earned her a place in the Pakistan Railway as an athlete.
Ambassador of Sports:
Upon her victory at the SAF Games in 2010, the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, appointed her as the Ambassador of Sports, also with rewarding her with cash and promising her a house in the Defence Housing Authority. Later on, Pakistan’s mobile network Mobilink added Naseem to their panel of brand ambassadors. The Vice President of the network, Bilal Munir Sheikh said about her, “Naseem is a hero we all needed and we hope that through the Jazz platform she will inspire many more. We are indeed very proud and privileged to have her as our Brand Ambassador.”
Victim of Criticism:
However, everything has not been easy for the Queen of Tracks. She quit sports some time after her famous victory, and this has resulted in a lot of tongue wagging and uncalled-for criticism by the people, who started claiming that her winning the SAF games was just a stroke of luck, rather than being the result of relentless hard work. Naseem has responded to these statements by pointing out that she won the 100 meter event at the National Games in Peshawar before quitting.
Naseem’s next goal was to participate in the 2012 Olympics. But, disappointed because of the lack of support from the government and the Sports Authorities, she decided to give it up. The running track at National Coaching Center has not been maintained, where she used to train, so now she dreams of providing a proper running track for aspiring athletes.
She considers that her biggest achievement would be the ‘Naseem Hameed Sports Academy’, which is currently under construction, and would start functioning by the end of the year. Although the rewards promised by the government failed to arrive, Naseem is in no way bitter, but in fact wants to improve the conditions for other upcoming athletes so that they may not face the same problems as her.
She has been a professional sprinter since 12 years, and she wants to use her experience to help mould and polish young athletes, by becoming a coach. She has decided to help the under-privileged, along with coaching at the Aman Foundation, and has also offered help at various schools and other institutions.