Lahore: After a thrilling finish, Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) contingent comprising Qamar Mirza, Master Juma Mir and Master Mumtaz Alam of Gilgit Baltistan area clinched two top positions by winning Gold and Silver medals in their category during the ‘Dream Program-2015’ held in Gangwon Province, Republic of Korea.
Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff, who is also the Patron in Chief SFP and Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, Vice Chief of the Air Staff, the President SFP met the contingent at Air Headquarters Islamabad.
During the call on, Patron in Chief SFP lauded the achievements of the skiers for winning the medals and hoped that their remarkable success would go a long way in boosting SFP’s ventures in national and international ski events. Air Chief Marshal, Tahir Rafique Butt expressed that with the completion of Naltar Chairlift Project the skiers would get an opportunity to further hone their skills thereby coming at par with the international skiers. He awarded both the skiers with race skis on their accomplishment and expressed that athletes need to utilise the equipment for training hard with special focus on their physical fitness in order to further polish their ski techniques, which would help attain SFP’s aim of improving its standing in the Olympic Winter Games.
He further stressed that athletes must concentrate on their studies in addition to their sport. The Chief of the Air Staff assured that Pakistan Air Force would continue to support the schools in Naltar valley in order to ensure better grooming and education of the local children.
Speaking at the occasion the President SFP also acknowledged the contributions and efforts of Embassy of Korea in Pakistan, especially the Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Jong Hwan Song for extending his full support and co-operation in materializing these ski training sessions in Korea.
‘Dream Program’ was commenced by Gangwon Province, Korea, the host of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics. The purpose of the Program is to fulfil the promise with International Sports World to expand the base of winter sports. Since 2004, the Province is inviting young people from countries, where winter sports facilities are not fully developed. Pakistan, however, joined the Program in 2011.
This year about 160 participants from 42 different countries participated in the training after which the athletes were divided into groups and competitions were held among them.
The Program endeavours to provide systematic and specialized training of winter sports for which ‘Winter Sports Academy’ has been established under the guidance of Korean Olympic medallists and Korean national team coaches.