Gulmarg SnowShoe championship held

Winners of Snow Shoe Championship posing along with the chief guest and other dignitaries on Sunday.
Winners of Snow Shoe Championship posing along with the chief guest and other dignitaries on Sunday.

Excelsior Sports Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Dec 2: Department of Tourism-Kashmir and Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) under the auspices of J&K SnowShoe Association conducted Gulmarg Snow Shoe Championship at ski resort of Gulmarg, today.
In the competition 21 young athletes hailing from Srinagar and Budgam districts participated. It was flagged off by Chief Executive Officer GDA Syed Hanief Balkhi along with PDP Youth Secretary and Sports Promoter Arif Laigaroo, Director CP Advertisers Mushtaq Bashir, Director Amblin Hinan Bhat, senior national athlete Gulzar Khan and International cyclist Akber Khan.
The competition was held with the aim to carry on winter sport activity in Gulmarg as well as to introduce the sport of SnowShoe among school going students. For that purpose, students of Kashmir Harvard Educational Institute Srinagar and Spring Buds School Ompora were specially invited and then put on against some of the former Snow Shoe champions.
It was first time that these students were using SnowShoe and then competing in the event. In a major surprise, the student of Spring Buds Suhail Farooq who was competing first time in snowshoe event finished first ahead of the former champions Umer and Ifshan who finished second and third respectively.
CEO GDA Syed Hanief Balkhi said that this is great initiative in introducing snowshoe as everyday activity and sports among the youth.
“With the advent modern lifestyle it is forgotten activity in Kashmir while as in Europe, USA and South America it is still hugely popular. Apart from being serious sporting event it is everyday activity for them. We need to get involved in it and take it as our daily routine during snow season,” Syed Hanief Balkhi.
“We will continue to support and promote such activities apart from our regular activities of snow skiing and snowboarding. The advantage with snowshoe racing is that we can conduct it in present kind of condition as well were we have very less snow accumulation. Also anyone who is physically fit can compete in it and doesn’t require specific skill set like in skiing,” he added.
Arif Laigaroo on the occasion said that he is always available for the promotion of sports and will keep promoting sports activities and sportsperson.
Mushtaq Bashir congratulated the winners and organizers and said that he hopes that this is start and Tourism department, GDA and Association will conduct many more this winter season.
It is pertinent to mention here, that unlike skiing and winter sport activity Snowshoeing is the activity that doesn’t require any specific trail, skills or lot of snow. It only needs snowshoe on which this activity can be done. The Association aims to conduct similar events in Pahalgam, Dodapathri, Yousmarg and Sonamarg as well.
Later Syed Hanief Balkhi, Arif Laigaroo and other guests distributed prizes among the winners and certificates among participants.