ISLAMABAD: On the instructions of Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, who is also the President of Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP), the world snow day was celebrated for the first time at ski slope of PAF Base, Kalabagh on Sunday.
According to a press statement issued by Pakistan Air Force (PAF) on Sunday, the celebrations started with snowman competition, followed by national songs, snow walk, snow running and slope skiing. A large number of students from local as well as national level schools participated in the event.
The aim of the event was to attract people to join and participate in winter sports. PAF has planned the training of aspirants from all over the country to come and participate in the winter sports, whereas education and necessary ski equipment is provided free of cost to all participants.
At present, SFP has 18 Member Ski Associations which also include Gilgit-Baltistan and GB Scouts. PAF has envisaged a new plan for promotion of Skiing and development of this area by installing a Ski Chairlift (1.5 Km long) at Naltar. This new chair lift will make Naltar a unique sports arena of one of its kind in the country.
PAF has been the pioneer of Skiing in Pakistan which was initially introduced at Naltar in 1962 as an essential part of Snow Survival training for its aircrew. With the passage of time this facility was also extended to locals and civilians for promotion of skiing as sport in Pakistan.
Establishment of SFP in 1991 under the aegis of PAF brought this area into limelight. SFP started to conduct various national level ski competitions and championships during every snow season.
Skiers from all over the country visit Naltar to participate in these competitions. However, local population of this far flung area is the biggest beneficiary of these facilitates. Participation of Abbass and Karim (both from Naltar) in last two winter olympics respectively speaks volumes of benefits the locals have achieved. At the end of the event, Base Commander PAF Base Kalabagh awarded the prizes to winners of each competition.