SRINAGAR: The first of its kind Off-Road MTB championship started at Polo Ground, Srinagar on Wednesday with 350 cyclists from all over Kashmir turning up on opening day.
The event organized by Sheikh-ul-Aalam Sports Development Association Budgam (SSDA) in collaboration with J&K State Sports Council is first of its kind off-road cycling event to be held in State.
The event supported by J&K bank, J&K Tourism, Amblin and Youth Services and Sports Department Budgam.
Director Tourism, Kashmir Mahmood Ahmad Shah who was Chief Guest on the occasion flagged off the Under-17 category race.
Speaking on the occasion Shah said “It is unique idea that can make cycling a spectator sport in Kashmir. We don’t have advanced indoor facilities for cycling but these types of idea are step forward.”
Joint Secretary J&K State Sports Council Nazir Ahmad, District Youth Services and Sports Officer Muzaffer Tramboo and well known sports administrator Bashir Ahmad Malik were guest of honors.
Muzaffer Tramboo flagged off Under-14 category race while as Nazir Ahmad flagged off race for the senior category.
The competition was of top quality in the Under-14 age with most of the riders participating in same category. 12 heats were held in the category with 12 qualifying for the semifinals that are scheduled to be held on Thursday. In Ubder-17 category 89 heats were held and the finals are scheduled to be held on Wednesday and same was case for senior category.
Event Coordinator and International cyclist of Kashmir, Akber Khan said that idea behind the event is to make cycling popular among young generation.
“It is the idea that matters and we have come up with this without knowing what it will turn up. With the help of Allah it has turned out as success with such large number students coming for participation. The youngsters love it and it has encouraged us to continue such events in future as well,” he said.
Students from various schools participated in the event.