SRINAGAR: J&K Tourism department Tuesday facilitated two young female skiers from Valley with International Ski Federation (FIS) approved ski sets for their participation in the Junior Asian Alpine Ski Championships to be held in Iran from March 1.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood Shah handed over two ski sets to each skier who left for Delhi to report to the Winter Games Federation of India. From there, they would be flying to Iran for the championship. Deputy Director Tourism Peerzada Zahoor was also present on the occasion.
Shabista Shabir and Sabiya Nabi both hailing from Tangmarg did very well in the selection trials and were selected to represent India for the Asian Championship.
Notably India is fielding its contingent comprising of boys and girls who are in the age group born between 1993 and 2001 in the said Championship.
The selection trials for Asian Junior Alpine Ski Championship were held at Gulmarg on 3rd and 4th February. Nearly 30 athletes representing different affiliated units of Winter Games Federation of India including J&K, HP, Uttarakhand, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM), High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS), Army and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports took part in Slalom and Giant Slalom trials during which Shabista and Sabiya were selected. The trials were held by WGFI in association with Winter Games Association of J&K, IISM and HAWS with logistic support from Tourism Department.
Both Shabista and Sabiya have participated in five national championships so far representing the state. This is for the first time the two girls will be representing India in any international event.
Shah said the department has been procuring ski sets for past few years for the skiers for international events. “The ski equipments are very expensive and are mostly procured from European countries. Our players who mostly come from middle class families can’t afford costly equipment approved by FIS for international events. We aim to facilitate these budding players so that they can continue to follow their passions and bring laurels for the state and the nation,” he said.