Canadian High Commissioner Wendy Gilmour trains local children in skating on a frozen pool in Hunza. —Dawn
Canadian High Commissioner Wendy Gilmour trains local children in skating on a frozen pool in Hunza. —Dawn

GILGIT: Canadian High Commissioner Wendy Gilmour on Sunday said that Gilgit-Baltistan had great potential in winter tourism, particularly winter sports, as the region had the most beautiful peaks in the world.

She said Canada was pleased to partner with GB winter sports organisations and local communities to promote winter sports.

The Canadian high commissioner along with Michael Cochrane, the Canadian police liaison teaching ice hockey, and Jenilee Ward, the First Secretary, teaching ice curling, arrived here on Sunday on a three-day visit.

Later, addressing a winter sports function in Altit, she said when Canada heard the burgeoning winter sports sector in GB, ‘we had to visit’.

“A shared passion for winter sports is but another element that brings Pakistan and Canada together, helps us develop a better mutual understanding of one another and develop closer person-to-person ties,” she said.

Talking about women empowerment through sports, she said sports had huge potential to empower women and girls. “Canada believes that advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is the most effective way to eliminate poverty, create lasting peace, and achieve sustainable development.”

Sport can be an important tool force to amplify women’s voices and break down gender barriers, for every time they climb a mountain or pick up a hockey stick, it is not just an opportunity for fun and to stay healthy, but also the opportunity to demonstrate leadership, team building and strategic thinking. It’s a way to increase self-confidence and break down gender stereotypes while making a step towards greater gender equality, she said.

She promised to convince Canadian people to visit Pakistan.

The Canadian high commissioner and other officials participated in the ice hockey, ice skating and ice-curling competitions at frozen Altit pool in Hunza. The foreign delegates also trained local youth how to play ice curling and ice hockey.

On the occasion, a traditional musical show was arranged. A cultural cap and coat were presented to the guests.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2020