J&K: Gulmarg all set to host 4th edition of Khelo India Winter Games from Feb 21

Srinagar,  The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district is all set to host the fourth edition of the Khelo India Winter Games beginning on Wednesday.

Cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar who is on a visit to Kashmir conveyed his best wishes to J&K Sports Council for organizing the sporting event.

Tendulkar advised the participant athletes to enjoy the game and make their stay here memorable.

Around 800 athletes, officials, and support staff shall participate in various winter sporting events including Snowboarding, Alpine Ski, Nordic Ski and Snow Mountaineering.

All preparation has been put in place for the five-day sports activities.

While it has been snowing at the ski resort since Sunday, the authorities have been busy with snow clearance operations so that the athletes could reach the venue without any hindrance.

Twenty states and Union Territories are competing in the Alpine Ski, Nordic Ski, and Snowboarding while ten states are competing in the Ski Mountaineering competitions.

The administration has directed the officials to ensure that the roads leading to Gulmarg are cleared of the snow and maintained properly for smooth traffic movement.

Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Minga Sherpa said snow clearance operations are underway since morning, while other arrangements are also in place for the convenience of athletes .

He said Gulmarg received one and a half feet of snow since yesterday and it was still snowing there.

Sherpa said that the athletes will arrive in batches and would be transported directly from Srinagar airport to Gulmarg and Sports Council of India has already made arrangements for their stay in hotels here in Gulmarg.

“Gulmarg has potential to become a world class winter sports destination and no stone would be left unturned to make the event a grand success,” the Deputy Commissioner told reporters in Gulmarg.

Secretary, Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafiz said there is so much snow in Gulmarg and am sure the game will be a huge success.

The Khelo India Winter Games are part of the flagship Khelo India scheme of the central government, which aims to promote mass participation and excellence in sports.

The first chapter of the 4th edition of KIWG featuring two ice sports events including Ice Hockey and Ice Skating were held in Leh earlier this month.

The live streaming of the games apart from being aired on multiple platforms of DD Sports shall also be carried out by various portals giving a wider coverage to the event providing the bigger audience with an opportunity to watch the athletes in action and cheer for them, officials said.

The games are also expected to boost tourism and the economy of the region, as well as inspire more youngsters to take up winter sports.

The Khelo India Winter Games is an opportunity for J&K to showcase the beauty of the venue which has one of the finest slopes and the best quality snow otherwise also known to skiers who travel from other parts of the world.

The event is being organized by the Department of Youth Services & Sports & J & J&K Sports Council in collaboration with Tourism Department, Gulmarg Development Authority and other stakeholder Departments.