India Celebrates World Snow Day At Gulmarg Ski Resort
Indian Institute of Skiing & Mountaineering (IISM) a member of Winter Games Federation of India headed by Mr. J S Dhillon, organized world snow day in a big way at the famous Indian ski resort of Gulmarg. The aim of the celebrations was to attract children and maximum citizens to the snow. Around 3500 tourists and visitors witnessed the festival in which different activities were conducted. The main attraction of the festival was a hot air balloon flight over the ski resort. Mr. Talat Parvez, Director Tourism (Kashmir) inaugurated the festival by taking the first flight in a hot air balloon. He was accompanied by Mr. Dhillon, Director, IISM. Later CEO, Gulmarg Mr. Mehmood Shah also flew in the hot air balloon. Mr. Rohitashwa Bissa demonstrated a jump from 250 feet from the balloon and slithered down with the help of a rope. As soon as the balloon took off thousands of tourists waved and clapped at the scene.
Ski Championship: A ski championship for both juniors and seniors was organized in the ski resort in which 250 skiers participated. The winners were given different awards by Director Tourism. IISM issued free ski equipment to the ski enthusiasts during the festival. A basic ski course for 110 children also terminated at IISM on this day and a graduation ceremony was organized by the Institute in which Gen Y S Mahiwal, Commandant of Army Ski School gave away the prizes to the winners of different events.
Innovative Snow Activities: As India is a cricket playing country, the skiing is not yet very popular in the Nation. However, to attract maximum number of people on snow during the world snow day some innovative snow activities were organized over the snow. Four snow Rugby teams participated in the snow rugby championship organized on this occasion. Zorbing over the snow slopes was great attraction for the children.
Night Skiing Demonstration: IISM Instructors and students lead by Mr. Ayaz and Mr. Shabir gave an impress demonstration on night skiing. Though the slopes were not properly lit, they carried head torches and Missals in their hands to demonstrate the event. Tourist thronged to see this event which was one of the most impressive event of the celebrations.
Snow Models: Like last year a model making competition was held in which 250 persons participated. Different igloos, models and designs were created over the snow which were seen by hundreds of tourists and visitors. The best designers were given cash award by Army Ski School.
Sponsoring of locals children by IISM: Indian Institute of Skiing & Mountaineering (IISM) sponsored 40 children from economically weaker families of the local area for a basic ski course during the occasion. Institute served free meals to many participants. Mr. Dhillon contributed more than Rupees eighty thousand from his personal savings to add color to world snow day.
The outcome of world snow day celebrations was very positive and many visitors were motivated to start skiing or come to snow for fun every year. The major problems faced by Mr. Dhillon were to solicit funds to organize this big event. Though there is a lot of potential for publicity, no major sponsor could make use of this opportunity. FIS may like to address this issue for our future celebrations. India is a big emerging market and sponsors are welcome to reap a good dividend in future. They can contact IISM Gulmarg or Joe Dhillon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing good luck to all the new faces on the snow.