Just to attract more tourists and to boost the winter sports in the Valley, Director Tourism, Mehmood Shah on Monday said that Gulmarg, the ski-resort will host 12th “National Ice Skating Championship” from ending December. While addressing a presser here, Mehmood said, “The Five day long National Ice Skating Championship is going to be started from December 30.” He informed that almost 17 teams from different states of Indian including Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are going to participate in the championship under the sponsorship of national ice skating association. “As many as 150 athletes will take part in the ice skating championship which will include Short Track Speed Skating, Dancing and Figure Skating,” he said. Terming the event as ‘big development’, “Hosting a national sports event in Gulmarg will not only improve the tourism base but also give impetus to local sportsmen, who will experience training and exposure during the event,” Mehmood told reporters here. On the sidelines of the function here, Shah said that the Valley is hopefully going to witness a good number of tourists on New Year. “We are in the process since October of this year and working hard to attract more tourists on New Year,” he said. While speaking in the presser, General Secretary of Ice Skating Association, RK Gupta, the “national level event” in Kashmir will help in ascertaining and bringing the talent to the forefront which can be utilized to set the next target to train for next Olympic Games to be held in South Korea. Other than the state teams, several local and national clubs like Ladakh Sports Club, Sonawat and Gulmarg Ice Skating Club are also going to participate in the event.
2015 Kashmir Despatch