ISLAMABAD - Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of the Air Staff and Ski Federation of Pakistan (SFP) president Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan, Vice Chief of the Air Staff met with Qamar Mirza, Master Juma Mir and Master Mumtaz Alam of Gilgit-Baltistan who clinched two top positions by winning gold and silver medals in their category during the 'Dream Programme 2015' held in Gangwon Province, Republic of Korea.

During his meeting with ski stars of the country here at Air Headquarter Monday, Tahir Rafique, who is also SFP patron-in-chief, lauded the achievements of the skiers for winning the medals and hoped that their remarkable success would go a long way in boosting the SFP's ventures in national and international events.

The SFP chief said with the completion of Naltar chairlift project, the skiers would get an opportunity to further hone their skills thereby coming at par with the international skiers.

He awarded both the skiers with race skis on their achievements and said the athletes needed to utilise the equipment for training hard with special focus on their physical fitness in order to further polish their techniques, which would help attain the SFP's aim of improving its standing in the Olympic Winter Games.

He asserted that the athletes must concentrate on their studies in addition to their sport and assured that Pakistan Air Force would continue to support the schools in Naltar valley in order to ensure better grooming and education of the local children.

SFP president Sohail Khan also acknowledged the contributions and efforts of Embassy of Korea in Pakistan, especially Ambassador Jong Hwan Song for extending his full support and co-operation in materializing these ski-training sessions in Korea.

“Dream Programme' was commenced by Gangwon Province, Korea, the host of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

The purpose of the program is to fulfill the promise with international sports world to expand the base of winter sports since 2004, the Province is inviting young people from countries, where winter sports facilities are not fully developed. Pakistan, however, joined this programme in 2011.

This year about 160 participants from 42 different countries participated in the training after which the athletes were divided into groups and competitions were held among them. The programme endeavours to provide systematic and specialized training of winter sports for which 'Winter Sports Academy' has been established under the guidance of Korean Olympic medallists and Korean national team coaches,” he concluded.