Srinagar: The mega 6th National Snowshoe Championship was inaugurated on Saturday in Gulmarg.
The championship organised by J&K SnowShoe Association in collaboration with the Directorate of Tourism Kashmir and under the auspices of Snowshoe Federation of India was inaugurated by CEO Gulmarg, Ghulam Zargar Jeelani in presence of Assistant Director Tourism, Dr Javid Ur Rehman, Assistant Director Tourism Kashmir Zeeshan Khan, Snowshoe Federation of India (SSFI) Mir Mudassir, J&K SnowShoe Association, Tariq Zargar, WGAJK President Muhammad Abbas Wani, SHO Gulmarg and other guests.
The championship is witnessing participation of around 100 athletes representing 10 State teams, HAWS and ITBP teams.
On an inaugural day long-distance events in senior male, female and Junior boys, girls categories were held.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Guest Ghulam Zargar Jeelani said that it is great to see such a mega event being held in Gulmarg.
"Snowshoe is a new concept in India and Kashmir and to see its National event being held is a new milestone. I welcome all of you and wish you the best of luck," Jeelani said.
Assistant Director Tourism Dr Javid ur Rehman said that a new dimension has been added to the winter sports with the conduct of the Snowshoe activity.
"It is not just about skiing now, it is about Snowshoeing events and activity as well now. It can be held without infrastructural upgrade or can be held anywhere where there is snow. We have to host many more events in the coming time," Dr Javid said.
President SSFI, Mir Mudassir while giving a brief about the Snowshoe background and the event said that the activity is getting popular in India.
"We started SnowShoe journey in India in 2015 and today we have established our units all over India. From the four-member contingent that took part in the World SnowShoe Championship in the year 2016 to having thousands of athletes regularly participating in the events, we have taken big stride," Mudassir said.
"For J&K hosting National Championship in SnowShoe is next big thing and we are considering to pitch for International competition in future. That International competition if approved by World Body would be held in Gulmarg," he added.
Assistant Director Tourism Zeeshan Khan termed the participants who have come from various parts of India for participation as ambassadors of Kashmir Tourism.
WGAJK President Mohammad Abbas Wani also spoke on the occasion.
The event is going to conclude on Sunday with sprint events scheduled to be held.