Pak team arrives for winter SAF games

Last Updated: Jan 07, 2011, 17:40 PM IST

Dehra Dun: Pakistan`s 27-member ski team is in the town to take part in the first-ever South Asian Federation (SAF) winter games, scheduled to begin here on January 10, amid tight security arrangements.

The team also includes four women skiiers.

The Pakistan team, which would participate in ski events, to be held in Auli in Chamoli district, was accorded a warm welcome on its arrival last evening, said Brig (retd) S S Patwal, president Winter Games Federation of India (WGFI).

Due to security reasons, the Pakistan team`s accommodation has been arranged at Bijapur guest house, while other teams have been put up in city hotels.

Teams from Nepal, Maldives and SriLanka have already arrived for the meet, to be jointly hosted by Dehra Dun and Auli.

While Auli would host skiing events from Jan 14 to 16, Dehra Dun would organise Ice-skating events from Jan 12-14.

Union sports minister M S Gill would declare the Games open on January 10, while renowned Sufi singer Kailash Kher is also expected to perform during the opening ceremony. Nearly 300 participants from India and six other South Asian countries including Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan
and SriLanka are participating in the Games.

Patwal said there will be 3 disciplines in each of the skiing category like Alpine (Downhill), Nordic (Cross Country) and Snowboard and Ice-skating like short-trek speed skating, Ice hockey and Figure skating.

He hoped that the winter SAF Games would work as a launching pad for future winter sports in Uttarakhand, and would also attract a large number of sportspersons as well as tourists from India and abroad.

`Bharal`, the Himalayan blue sheep, has been chosen as the mascot of the Games.