Today: Jun 17, 2024

With “Saz Lung” mentality, Sports Council sidelines stars of skiing

1 min read
Shabir Wani (L) and Arif Khan during a world championship in Sweden in 2019. File Photo.

Gulmarg: The Khelo India event at Gulmarg ended at a sour note today as those who are stars of the winter games were sidelined by the Sports Council and reduced to back benchers during the concluding function.

The event, as reported earlier, was to promote winter games which in return would help increase the tourist foot prints, especially in winters in Kashmir.

However, the concluding event was enough to indicate how insensitive and unprofessional the authorities of Sports Council are, remarked a local skier.

“A cricketer was brought to distribute the prizes while as the stars of the winter games were made to sit in back rows,” he said.

“At the event we had two great skiers of India – Shabir A Wani and Arif Khan. Both have represented India on international events hundreds of times. But instead of them being on the forefront to enthuse young winter games athletes, the Sports Council decided to honour a cricketer who has represented India in just one international game,” said a skier from Himachal Pradesh.

 Read Also: Arif Khan to represent India in ‘World Ski Championship’

“My father is a skier (now retired). I have grown up with he telling me stories about Shabir Sir (Shabir A Wani). And today I was shocked to see him sitting in the back rows at the event. It is shame full,” he said.

Shabir A Wani, an ace skier, in fact father of the sport when it comes to introducing it to commoners, has participated in scores of international Skiing events, skiers there said.

“Shabir Sir represented India in Olympics as Indian team’s coach and he is the one who inspired locals of J&K to look beyond cricket and football and give winter games a chance,” said another local skier.

Arif Khan, a young local skier has participated in 117 international winter games events and represented the country in three World Cups.

“We have heard a lot about Shabir Sir from our parents. But Arif Khan is, sort of, our contemporary. He gives hope to youngsters that they too can shine in the field. But if you discriminate against them the way you did today at Gulmarg, who is going to play these sports,” questioned another local skier.

“Sports Council has too much bureaucracy in it. The organization can’t ever understand the essence of sports. The people running it are in ‘Saz Lung’ mentality. They don’t know what Olympics and international events mean,” said a veteran skier, who now just watches the game but can’t be part of it due to some health issues.