KATHMANDU, July 13: The Embassy of Japan has handed over ski equipment to Nepal Ski Association amidst a ceremony at the embassy on Thursday. Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Masashi Ogawa handed over the ski equipment to president of the Nepal Ski Association, Jeevan Ram Shrestha.
Information officer at the Japanese Embassy, Purab Kayastha, informed Republica that the Ski Association of Japan (SAJ) donated 12 pairs of skis, six pairs of ski boots and six sets of ski wear to Nepal under the Japanese government's 'Sports for tomorrow' scheme in view of the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
'Sports for tomorrow' is an international contribution through sport that is jointly implemented by the private and public sectors, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, according to a press statement issued by the embassy. The scheme aims to promote sports covering over 10 million people in more than 100 countries until 2020, the same year when Tokyo will host the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Skiing is a popular international winter sport in Japan, North America and Europe and holds a good potential in Nepal as well, informed Shrestha, who is also the president of Nepal Olympic Committee.
“We have identified few places in Nepal like Langtang, Mustang and Manang as possible places for skiing. We have already submitted a proposal to the government after a detailed survey for development of ski venue in Nepal,” said Shrestha, adding that ski holds a good potential to draw visitors to Nepal during off season.
“Winter is an off season for tourists and we can utilize this period for bringing in tourists for skiing if we have proper infrastructure,” he added.
Meanwhile, Nepal Ski Association has been training 15 skiers abroad as a part of preparation for participating in the upcoming Winter Olympics.
The Embassy of Japan said it is pleased to support Nepal's enthusiasm in sports as that can also enhance the relations between the people of Japan and Nepal.