After the Commonwealth Games, India will now host the first South Asian Winter Games in Uttarakhand beginning from January 7, 2011.
The Centre is spending Rs 110 crore for building infrastructure facilities and organising the event.
The games will be held in two phases with skiing event being organised at the hill resort of Auli, known for its natural slopes in the Garhwal region, between January 7 and January 10. The second phase of the ice skating event will be held in Dehra Dun between January 14 and January 17. “With the purpose of boosting winter sports games as well as tourism, we are organising the South Asian Winter Games in Uttarakhand,” said Brigadier (retired) S S Patwal, president, Winter Games Federation of India.
In the run-up to the two main events, there will be a host of other events which would include skiing coaching camp, skiing open championship, ice skating coaching camps and ice skating open championship.
Besides India, players from Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will participate in these events. Patwal said the games will be held in a well organised manner. “We have been preparing for these events since the past four years. The government has taken care of the games’ infrastructure,” said Patwal. A new ice skating ring has been set up at Raiwala with a cost of Rs 50 crore-Rs 55 crore and a new artificial snow-making system at Auli has come up, said Additional Sports Secretary B S Manral. The games are being organised by the Indian Olympic Association and the Winter Games Federation of India.