Srinagar: With the aim to make Sonamarg another winter sports destination of Kashmir, J&K SnowShoe Association held first ever SnowShoe event in Sonamarg on Sunday.
The event witnessed participation of local athletes of Ganderbal district. The athletes were first time ever having a taste of SnowShoe activity and it was more of a introduction to SnowShoe for them.
SnowShoe sport which is very popular in Europe and USA, has been getting popular in India as well with its base in Kashmir.
Gulmarg which is major winter sports of J&K has been hosting SnowShoe events throughout the season. To look for alternative and other destination, Association on Sunday held an invitational event in Sonamarg. The event was held in collaboration with Department of Tourism Kashmir and District Adminstration Ganderbal.
Present on the occasion were well known sportsperson of J&K Mir Bilquis, Social activist and sports promoter of Ganderbal Farooq Ganderbali, President J&K SnowShoe Association Tariq Ahmad Zargar, General Secretary Dr Altaf ur Rehman and Association organizing secretary Gulzar Khan.
Giving details about the event , J&K SnowShoe Association President Tariq Ahmad Zargar said, “It was first ever SnowShoe event held in Sonamarg. It was aimed to explore other winter sports destinations of Kashmir. Sonamarg is well known tourist destination but in winter it remains off limit for Tourists. With events like this it can also be promoted as a winter destination”.
“SnowShoe is such an activity that doesn’t need infrastructural build up. Anyone who is associated with normal running can do it, and doesn’t require special training as well,” he said.
Farooq Ganderbali said that the District Adminstration of Ganderbal is serious about promoting Sonamarg as winter destination as well.
“District Adminstration Ganderbal want to promote Sonamarg for winter as well. These type of events will play pivotal role in that. I am sure more such events will be held in the coming winter and we will see Sonamarg turning out as winter sports hub,” he said.
Dr Altaf ur Rehman who is General Secretary of the Association said that Association is looking into conduct SnowShoe activities all over J&K.
“We know that SnowShoe events can be conducted wherever snow is. Apart from holding events throughout season in Gulmarg , Association will be conducting events in Sonamarg, Dodapathri, Yousmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop as well.In short, association will try to explore all areas where there is snow,” he said.
“From December 27 to 30, J&K will be hosting 7th National SnowShoe Championship. For that we have been assured full support from the Tourism department.The event will witness participation of more than 150 athletes from 18 State, Union Territories,” he added.