by Farman Ali
ISLAMABAD, Feb 26: Northern Areas Scouts clinched the 16th National Ski Championship Trophy, defeating the defending champion Pakistan Air Force at the Naltar Ski resort on Tuesday. PAF team stood second and army team were third.
Sixty skiers from all over the country competed for two different categories — Slalom and Giant Slalom events. All 12 ski associations — Sindh, NWFP, Punjab, Balochistan, Islamabad, Alpine Club, Civil Aviation Authority, Northern Areas Ski Federation, Northern Areas Scouts, Adventure Foundation, Army, and PAF — participated in the championship.
Speaking as chief guest at the concluding ceremony of the event at the Naltar, about 30 kilometres from capital city Gilgit, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed commended the Federation on conducting the event in excellent manner. He also appreciated media and corporate sector for projecting such events and encouraging the young players.
“SFP has been making efforts for providing all types of facilities, instruments and tools that are required for this sport. We are putting lot of efforts to bringing the slope at Malam Jabba to the international standard and get it certified from International Ski Federation”, said the Air chief.
Currently our players are aiming for participating in Winter Olympics in Canada, he added. “He further said that PAF has made significant efforts to provide administrative facilities, equipments and lots of other things such as snow pressing machines and electronic timer from outside the country.
He assured that PAF will continue its efforts in development of skiing in Pakistan by providing infrastructure, training and international exposure to the ski Players so that they can bring good name to the country.
It is worth mentioning here that the Northern Areas Scouts had won Shah Khan Ski Cup at the same resort on Feb 22.
The Skiing Federation of Pakistan will select probables for the Winter Olympics 2010. The government has provided a grant of Rs4 million to the SFP for purchasing new skiing equipment like snow-pressing machine for use at Naltar.