ISLAMABAD - The Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) in collaboration with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) celebrated the World Snow Day at the ski sloops of Kalabagh and Naltar on Sunday.
The World Snow Day was marked on the directives of Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, who is also SFP president. The celebrations started with snowman competition, followed by national songs, snow walk, snow running and slope skiing. A large number of students from local and national schools participated in the event. The aim of the event was to attract people to join and participate in winter sports.
Pakistan Air Force has planned the training of aspirants from across the country to come and participate in the winter sports, whereas education and necessary ski equipment are provided free of cost to all participants.
The SFP has 18 affiliated ski associations, which also include Gilgit-Baltistan and GB Scouts; PAF has envisaged a new plan for promotion of skiing and development of this area by installing a ski chairlift (1.5 Km long) at Naltar , the new chair lift will make Naltar a unique sports arena of one of its kind in the country.
The PAF has been the pioneer of skiing in Pakistan, which was initially introduced at Naltar in 1962 as an essential part of snow survival training for its aircrew. With the passage of time, this facility was also extended to locals/civilians for promotion of skiing as sports in Pakistan. The establishment of the ski federation was done in 1991 under the aegis of PAF, which brought this area into limelight.
The SFP started to conduct various national level ski competitions and championships during every snow season. Skiers from across the country visit Naltar to participate in these competitions, however, local population of this far-flung area is the biggest beneficiary of these facilitates, participation of Abbas and Karim (both from Naltar) in last two Winter Olympics respectively speaks volumes of benefits the locals have gained so far.
Talking to The Nation, SFP spokesman Obaid Abbasi said: “The kids were informed about the significance, importance and background of the event. It is the second phase, which is called ‘Bring Children to the Snow’ campaign. The first phase of the campaign was called ‘snowkids’ which was conducted in 2009. It was aim to encourage the FIS member national ski associations to promote snow sports in Pakistan.”
“The SFP , CAA and PAF decided to mark the World Snow Day in befitting manner and it was for the very first time that the event was conducted at two different sloops of the country. It was also decided that the day would be observed in Pakistan every year, Obaid concluded.
Base Commander PAF Base Kalabagh awarded the prizes to winners of each competition in a colorful prize distribution ceremony.