SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah Monday said the state had a great potential to make big in sports and adventurism tourism, besides having tourists in awe of its mesmerizing, enchanting and amazing natural resorts.
Omar, an avid skier himself, was the star attraction at the inaugural ceremony of National Ski and Snowboarding Championship. The much fancied skiing championship will see players fighting it out at snow covered Gulmarg in Slalom and Giant Slalom events for both men and women.
The itinerary of the events also features the first of its kind Junior National Snowboarding Championship. After inaugural ceremony, the real action will begin from Monday for three days at Kongdori.
The chief minister said that organizing winter games was bound to market state as an ideal venue for sports events.
He insisted that to develop world class players in the state, winter games in Gulmarg and other venues need to be boosted to give youngsters an opportunity to nurture their talent.
He said normally youth studying in different educational institutions find occasions and platform to participate and show their sports talent in different games. However, he said, the youth not obtaining education are mostly deprived of such occasions. “We should also enhance opportunities and avenues for them”, he said and added that Gulmarg Winter Games will be an effective steps in this direction.
The Chief Minister said that there is need to promote winter sports particularly skiing in Gulmarg by upgrading ski slopes at Kongdoori and Mary Shoulder.
“This would help in holding the National and International Ski events in Gulmarg”, he said and spelt out the possibilities of making Gulmarg an International winter sports resort.
Minister for Tourism, Ghulam Ahmad Mir was also present on the occasion.
The event is being organized by Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir. The championship, according to the organizers,  is aimed at promoting winter-sports and tourism in the State.