Winter Games Federation of India has selected two Kashmiri girls, Sabiya Nabi and Shabista Shabir to represent India in Asian Junior Alpine Ski Championship, to be held in Iran in first week of March this year.
Both were selected after the selection trials held by WGDFI at Gulmarg. Sabiya Nabi and Shabista Shabir, both hail from rural Tangmarg area. Since the WGFI has no financial resources these two girls have been asked to meet all the expenses on their tour to Iran. Both of them belong to middle class family and is difficult for them to arrange huge funds for this purpose. The Winter Games Association of J&K is making its efforts to find any sponsor
Notably both these girls have been pursuing skiing from their childhood and took part in different training and competing programs, organized by Winter Games Association of J&K from time to time.
Sabiya started skiing in 2005 when she attended her basic ski course and won consolation prize in that course. She did advance courses twice in 2008 and 2010 and both times won first positions. She won silver medals in Aegis Gulmarg Cup, HAWS Cup and Gulmarg Global Derby in 2009, 2011 and 2012 respectively. In 2013 and 2014 she won two golds and one silver medals in Junior Nationals. While, in 2014 and 2017 she participated in Senior Nationals. Sabiya is a promising skier and could become an ace racer if groomed well.
Shabista started her skiing in 2007 and did all the three courses at a row successfully with merit at IIS&M and J&K Youth Services Department. She first time participated in Junior National Ski Championship in 2013 and won silver and bronze medals in Giant Slalom and Slalom respectively. She participated in Senior Nationals in 2014 held at Gulmarg and in the same year she represented state in Junior National Championship held at Auli. Last year she won 2 medals in District and 2 medals in State Championship. Last year she was also selected for Senior National held at Manali due to certain reasons could not participate.
After performing well in the District and State Ski Championships both of them were selected to represent J&K State in the National Ski Championship held at Manali last year. Due to certain reasons Shabista missed the chance. Sabiya Nabi performed exceptionally well in the preliminary rounds of the said championship but was restricted to advance for final rounds as she did not have the international standard skis, while all other skiers of other states owned this specified equipment. On the persuasion of MLA Gulmarg and President WGAJK the Tourism Department procured twenty sets of these FIS approved racing skis for the use of the local promising skiers. Lucky they are that these two girls are its first beneficiaries. The equipment procured by Tourism Deptt would go a long way in developing ski racing skills among local top skiers. There is need to buy more such equipment as all skiers participating in nationals are supposed now to use only FIS specified equipment.
The President WGAJK expressed his gratitude to Mahmood Ahmad Shah Director Tourism for taking keen interest in raising this kind of equipment. This expensive equipment is purchased exclusively for ski racing, he further said. He informed that the Association has also submitted a detailed proposal to J&K State Sports Council to purchasing the snow sports equipment as these are Olympic events and we have upper hand in winter sports. The WGAJK has also submitted proposals to Sports Council for starting a winter sports academy, homologation of ski slopes at Kongdori, holding National Ski Championship this winter and arranging free accommodation for local skiers at Gulmarg.