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Khelo India winter sports & youth festival-2021 held in Ladakh

13-day Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports and Youth Festival has concluded at Zanska, Kargil.

Organised by the Department of Sports & Youth Services under the Khelo India banner in collaboration with the Department of Tourism of the Union Territory of Ladakh, the 13-day Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports and Youth Festival has concluded on Saturday at Zanska, Kargil.

With the newly created Union Territory reeling under an unrelenting cold wave, mercury is currently fluctuating between the maximum of minus 12 degree Celsius by the day and minus 20 degree Celsius by the night in Zanskar and other parts of the Kargil district.

The festival was organised to showcase potential in adventure tourism and sports and was aimed at opening a new arena in Ladakh for adventure and economy. It is one of the biggest events that has been organised to promote winter tourism in Ladakh. The festival started on 18 January and concluded on Saturday, 30 January.

The Lok Sabha member from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, was the chief guest on the occasion while Stanzin Lakpa, the councillor representing Cha constituency in the Ladakh Area Hill Development Council (Kargil), was the guest of honour.

Secretary Sports, Ravinder Kumar, Director Tourism UT Ladakh, Kunzes Angmo, Padma Shree Awardee, Tsultrim Chonjor, Presidents of Ladakh Buddhist Association Zanskar, Zanskar Gompa Association, Zanskar Muslim Association, LBA Youth Wing, Muslim Youth Wing, Women’s Association Zanskar, OSDs and Under Secretaries of the UT of Ladakh, officers of the Army and the General Engineer Reserve Force (GREF), and other sub divisional officers were present as special guests.

Speaking on the occasion, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said that the youth festival was a great achievement towards promoting winter sports and tourism in the Ladakh region. He elaborated that so far tourists would visit only religious places and other sites only but this event would change the scenario in terms of expansion of economic activities and tourism.

Namgyal thanked and appreciated the role played by the UT administration and other concerned departments in making the event a huge success.  He said that in the upcoming year the event would be extended to around 70 days including some days of trekking on the Chadar Trek.

Secretary Sports Ravinder Kumar in his address appreciated the efforts of the Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, the MP of Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Department of Youth Services and Sports, Ladakh, Department of Tourism Ladakh and other concerned agencies and individuals besides the people of Zanskar for their efforts in making this event a big success.

“I assure you that this event would be conducted with much efficiency and affectivity next year. With support from the Union Ministry of Sports, we will assist in infrastructural development, equipment procurement and other necessary assistance”, Kumar said.

Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism  Ladakh, Kunzes Angmo, said that Zanskar has potential for winter tourism and adventure for which the Department of Tourism of the UT of Ladakh would strive to develop necessary requirements.

The winter festival showcased a host of outdoor activities and sporting events like ice hockey, snow skiing, yalk and horse riding, ice climbing and archery. Events of social and cultural importance like snow sculpting, food festival, yoga and meditation were also the part of the festival.

Certificates of appreciation were distributed among athletes, coaches, organizers and other participants. Various sporting teams, Zanskar Students Association and other cultural troupes presented colourful folk songs and dances on the occasion. Around 700 people from different parts of Zanskar participated in the event.

Pertinently, the Union Sports Ministry plans to provide sports facilities in all regions of the UT of Ladakh. It aims to promote Ladakh as a centre for ice hockey and open a centre for archery and polo in two areas in the region.