By Fazal Khaliq
MINGORA: Provincial and departmental ski teams started arriving Malam Jabba, Swat after the Pakistan Winter Sports Federation decided to hold two national ski events at the Malam Jabba ski resort.
The two national ski events—the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff and Shah Khan ski championships were earlier scheduled at Naltar, Gilgit Baltistan. However, the Pakistan Winter Sports Federation made changes in the schedule and moved the two championships to Malam Jabba.
Both the championships are going to be held from 19 February and will continue till 21 February. Different Ski teams including Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan Air Force, Army, Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan while other teams are on the way to Malam Jabba.
Ski players who already arrived Malam Jabba said that they were enthusiastic for the events and were excited that the championships were moved to Malam Jabba ski slope.
“Some of members of my ski team has already participated in the recently concluded Malam Jabba ski festival and secured two gold and two silver. Rest of the athletes have also reached Malam Jabba from Gilgit Baltistan,” Said Obaid ur Rehman Abbasi, winter games head of the Civil Aviation Authority, adding that his players were happy to participate in the competitions at Malam Jabba that one of the best international verified ski slope of the country.
“If the KP government concentrated on the link road and some infrastructure facilities here, I bet international winter game players shall rush to this area which will promote tourism industry of the country,” he added and thanked the Pakistan Winter Sports Federation to desert two competitions to Malam Jabba.
National ski player Rehmat Ali Khan who is also a resident of Malam Jabba said that the valley received record snow this year where everything was covered with heavy snow.
“This year Malam Jabba has become a ski heaven with over five feet snow everywhere. The ski players will enjoy the two upcoming championships,” he said, and strongly hoped to clinch gold in both the championships.
International ski and snowboarding trainers are also busy in training locals. According to them Malam Jabba ski slope was perfect for skiing.
“Everything is perfect here, the slope and its surrounding are beautiful with good infrastructure for skiers and very nice local people. We are happy that the local youth are very keen and willing to learn snowboarding and we are enjoying to train them professionally,” said Rolf Meyer and Alain Lerch the trainers from Switzerland. They said that they were training the locals how to use the snowboarding equipment in a right way too.
However, according to the Met department Malam Jabba will receive more waves of snowfall in the coming week and can affect the events.