An international level skiing competition was conducted on Saturday in the Bamiyan province of Afghanistan, reports Citizen Journalist Ilyas Tahiri. This was the fifth year that the event was conducted for men and third for women participants.
This year’s competition had participants from across 34 nations including at least 14 players from USA, France, Canada, Swiss, New Zealand and England.
The competition which was held in Chap Dara-e-Foladi area covered 3 km of snowy course. Bamyan players were able to defeat their international competitors and got first, second and third positions. Ali shah, one of the local players who secured the first place, was able to cover the 3 km stretch in less than 45 seconds. Other winners, Sajad Hussaini and Shah Agha, covered the stretch in underone minute and secured second and third positions consecutively.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Bamyan ski players had also defeated their international counterparts in Switzeland in a similar competition among 70 players. They secured first position and waved the Afghan flag in Swiss alps.
Women Ski Players
The competition started last Friday in Shahidan district of Bamyan province and was conducted for two days. This was the third year in a row that such an event had been conducted for women. Although it was expected that many players will attend the competition, but only 8 female players joined.
The competition was held in Barf-geer area of Shahidan district that is only 20 km away from Bamiyan city. Girls from Bamyan, Kabul and some other provinces participated in the competition. The players needed to cover a one km stretch. Masooma, a ski player who to went there from Kabul was able to cover the area in less than 10 minutes, while Hania and Zuhra, both from Bamyan covered the area in 12 and 13 minutes and consecutively secured second and third positions.
In a country where women’s social participation is otherwise restricted, this event was seen as a good initiative towards women’s development, especially in sports. Many women participants welcomed the event. They said that their parents were open to their sons and daughters skiing and urged other parents in the country to let their children play sports. They asked them to not deprived their kids of this human right and that allow them to do something that will bring pride to Afghanistan.
Female ski players also asked the government and sports organizations to provide them with facilities, especially in ski section. They also said that skiing is a seasonal sport and since Afghanistan has the climate that can support this, so it must be encouraged.
The competition was launched by Bamyan tourism union, bamyan ski club, ASEM tourism company, in cooperation with Agha Khan Foundation, governor’s office, Directorate of Information and Culture and Walkeel company. The competition aimed to encourage men and female players and to promote tourism in Bamyan province.