New Delhi: The inaugural South Asian Winter
Games will be held in Uttarakhand from January 7 to 19 next
Besides India, all the other South Asian Federation
nations Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and
Pakistan are expected to participate in these Games.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the Games will be
held on January 7 and 17 in Auli and Dehra Dun respectively.
Auli will also host the skiing competition from January
7-12 while Ice Skating and Ice Hockey events will be held in
Dehra Dun from January 14-19.
Bharal, the Himalayan blue sheep, has been chosen as the
mascot of SAF Winter Games, a release said.
"India is extremely happy to host the first ever Winter
Games at Uttarakhand. The state-of-the-art, newly built
infrastructure will witness the best ever haul across SAF
nations. Our main aim is to promote Winter Games and sporting
culture and I am sure that these Games will give a new boost
to the future of winter sports in India," IOA Secretary
General Randhir Singh said.
SS Patwal, President of Winter Games Federation of India,
said, "The South Asian Winter Games will pave way for budding
winter sports enthusiasts and will offer an international
exposure to the professional sportspersons. These Games will
also help position India on the international winter sporting
calendar and will give a new boost to our sportspersons to
train and participate in more international events."