GILGIT: Karakoram International University (KIU) has announced free education for Gilgit-Baltistan’s skiing champion Amina Wali, who is studying environment sciences at the varsity.
In 2011, Amina and her sister Ifrah won gold and silver medals, respectively, in the first South Asian Winter Games held in India, beating contestants from Sri Lanka, Nepal and India in the giant slalom. Ifrah studies at the National University of Sciences and Technology.
This month, Amina again won a gold medal in one of the events during the four-day National Sadia Khan Memorial Ski Championship held at Naltar Valley, about 50 kilometres from Gilgit. The event was organised by the Pakistan Air Force.
“She (Amina) has been part of the KIU team and has been an inspiration for the rest of her colleagues,” KIU spokesperson Shahid Shigri said. “In recognition of her achievements, the vice chancellor has waived her fee and awarded her with a cash prize of Rs10,000,” said the official.
Amina is also a member of the Higher Education Commission’s skiing team.
Plan International, an NGO, is also intending to give the talented sisters the status of goodwill ambassadors for their outstanding achievement in the field of skiing.
Amina and Ifrah, the progeny of the Gushpur family – the former royal family in Ghizer district – excel in skiing as they spent most of their childhood near the snow-capped mountains of G-B. The duo was recently selected for the qualifying rounds of the Winter Olympics to be held in Russia this year.
Amina could not be reached for comments despite several attempts.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2014.