Army to include skiing and ice skating in Sikkim

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Gangtok, Feb 18 (UNI) The Black Cat Division of the Indian Army posted at Sikkim is considering the inclusion of skiing and ice skating to its adventure sports curriculum by developing the necessary infrastructure.

''We are already doing white river rafting, para sailing and mountain biking and the new adventure sports we are thinking are skiing and ice skating,'' said Major General KVS Lalhotra, GOC of the Black Cat Division.

The Division has identified a couple of locations in the high attitude areas of Sikkim were the conditions are ideal for skiing and ice skating. ''We are in such areas where there are snowfall and low temperatures for most of the year,'' said the GOC.

Major Gen Lalhotra expressed his confidence in the state government and the Army for developing the necessary infrastructure as it will not only boost tourism but also draw the local youths to winter sports.

''We can train the local kids so they can be Bhaichung Bhutia of winter sports,'' he said.

Popular tourist areas located in high altitudes (above 13000 ft) like Changu Lake and Nathu La are just two hours distance from Gangtok by all weather roads and tourists can easily enjoy additional attractions like skiing and ice skating if the facilities come up.

Earlier in the morning, the GOC flagged off the white water rafting expedition of the Division from Gangtok. The three day expedition covers a distance of 123 km from Dickhu to Coronation bridge along the rapids of the Teesta river.

The expedition is being undertaken by the ubiquitous soldiers of the Black Cat Division in pursuance of their thirst for adventure and challenge and will also give them an opportunity to enhance the camaraderie amongst them and work as a cohesive team.

It is also a part of the year long adventure sports activities undertaken by the Black Cat Division that saw them wining the Eastern Command Adventure Sports Championships recently.

UNI BG BA NY BST1314

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