Gulmarg hosts junior snowshoe championship

Gulmarg hosts junior snowshoe championship
File Photo/ GK

The first of its kind all junior snowshoe championship was conducted by Snowshoe Federation of India (SSFI) at ski resort of Gulmarg on Sunday.

In the championship that was supported by J&K Tourismand was sponsored by Mushtaq Group of Hotels and J&K Cable Car Corporationmore than 50 participants from Burn Hall, Kashmir Harvard, Green Valley andSprings Buds Ompora participated. It was first time that an all junior event inSnowShoe sport was held in J&K.

The aim of the event was to introduce the snowshoe sport andactivity among the school going students so that they can take it as theirsports discipline in future, said organizing secretary of the event.

The competitions were held in two categories of boys andwere held in Gulmarg bowl in front of large number of local and outsidetourists.

The event was flagged off jointly by Assistant DirectorTourism Gulmarg Nasir Ahmad and Sports Promoter Arif Laigaroo in presence ofInternational cyclist Akber Khan and Internal SnowShoe athlete Gulzar Khan.

In the junior 400-metre sprint category, Athar of KashmirHarvard emerged as winner while as Arsalan of Springs Buds School Ompora baggedsecond place and Arsalan of Kashmir Harvard finished third.

In the 800-metre category, Basharat of Burn Hall emerged aswinner while as Aadil of Spring Buds and Aasim of Burn Hall bagged second andthird positions respectively.

Later the prize distribution ceremony was held in whichAssistant Director Tourism Gulmarg Nasir Ahmad and Sports Promoter ArifLaigaroo were present alongwith with other dignitaries. They distributed theprizes among the winners and also distributed certificates among the students.

Speaking on the occasion Arif Laigaroo said that main aim ofthe event was to highlight snowshoe sports and activity among the youngstudents of State.

Photo: Greater Kashmir

"It is first step in the direction of introducing SnowShoesport among the students and in future and it will help this activity to growmany folds in the State. The young athletes exhibited great enthusiasm andinterests in this activity which is encouraging," Arif said.

"I am thankful to Tourism department, J&K Cable CarCorporation and Mushtaq Group of Hotels for all the help and without theirsupport this event wouldn't have been possible," he said.

President SSFI Mir Muddasar said that SSFI is planning manyevents in coming time and it is just beginning.

"SSFI has been trying to develop the SnowShoe sports andactivity from around last four years. The lack of equipment was initially a bigtrouble but now we have some equipment that is helping in the effort. SnowShoeactivity has got huge potential in our State and the States in India weresnowfall happens," he said.

"This year we will try to identify the junior as well assenior levels talent across India so that we will be able to field a big teamin the upcoming World SnowShoe championship in Japan. This time visa is notgoing to be an issue and we can take as many athletes as we can as per meritand depending on finances," he said.

Chairman Mushtaq Group of Hotels, Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya whocouldn't attend the event personally said that such events as big help in thepromotion of tourism in State.

"We should be holding more and more such events so that wecan attract as much tourists to the places like Gulmarg as we can. There ishuge scope for SnowShoe as a tourism activity in our State and we shouldpromote it in big way," he said.

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