The department of tourism Kashmir organized first of its kind Srinagar Adventure Race as part of its Valley Weekend programme in Srinagar.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah flagged off the race at 0600 HRS at Water Sports Center at Nigeen, which saw participation of around 100 youth affiliated with many adventure sports associations.
The adventure race started with 500 meters of swimming at Nigeen Lake followed by 15 km of cycling from Nigeen Club to Zabarwan Park via foreshore road, 1 km of hiking from Zabarwan Park to Shankaracharya hill top and 5 km road running downhill from Shakracharya to the finishing line at Zabarwan Park.
Muzamil Hussain of JK Adventure Sports Club finished first while as Suhaib ul Mehraj of Jammu and Kashmir Mountain Biking Club, Suhail Nisar of JK Adventure Sports Club, Nawab Moazum Khan of Jammu and Kashmir Mountaineering and Hiking Club and Dr Amin Rishi of Jammu and Kashmir Mountain Biking Association bagged other four positions respectively.
Director Tourism Kashmir distributed prizes and certificates to the winners and the participants at Zabarwan Park.
While hailing the youth for their active involvement in the sports activities, Mr Shah said the department is committed to providing facilities and right platform to the youth in all games.
He said triathlon events were rarely held in Kashmir and by organizing this event the department want to revive such adventure games.
He said local youth have lot of talent but they need the right platform to hone their skills and showcase their talent.
“This event was just the beginning and we will organize more such events and at large scale in which the athletes will have to cover more distance. This will give them right platform to prepare for national and international events,” said Director tourism Kashmir.
Notably, the department of tourism provided every facility including mountain bikes to most of the participants and also trained them in swimming at Nigeen club ahead of the event.
The department trained over 500 youth in swimming in all age groups at Nigeen Club over the past few years.
The department provided free coaching with all the life saving equipment like life wests so that participants learn swimming without taking any risks.
Director tourism also urged the participants to take care of the water bodies and desist from littering disposables.
The sports activities are part of the tourism department’s Valley Weekend programme in which it organizes musical and cultural events on every Saturdayevening and next day on Sunday organizes sports and other tourism related activities. The aim of the programme is to provide entertainment to the tourists and engage locals in sports activities.
The Valley Weekend started last year with the enthralling performance by the Valley’s noted singer Rashid Jahangir in the middle of Dal Lake at Nehru Park attracting large gathering of locals as well as tourists.
Director Tourism Kashmir said they have kept Sundays for sports activities to provide platform for the Valley youth to showcase their talent in sports and improve their performances.
“We organized swimming classes, mountain biking events in the past and many youth were trained in these sports activities. Most of them are also participating in this adventure race. We have provided them every facility to learn these adventure sports activities,” said Shah.
The department of tourism has established cycle hire shop at Zabarwan Park, where both tourists and local alike take bikes on rent at nominal charges and enjoy the local beauty.
“During competitions we don’t charge any rent from the participants for using mountain bikes. We have also organized free swimming classes at Nigeen Club where the facilities and equipment are available for locals to use,” he said.