ISLAMABAD, MAY 3 (DNA)  – The National Hockey League (NHL), one of the five largest sports organizations in the world representing professional ice hockey in North America, has released a video highlighting the collaboration between Pakistan and the Canadian High Commission to introduce ice hockey to northern Pakistan. The video was prepared as part of the NHL’s Green Month, which focuses on local initiatives taking place around the world that use winter sports to focus on environmental challenges.

The video highlights the Canadian High Commission in Pakistan’s “winter sports initiative,” working with local communities in Pakistan’s northern regions to promote youth engagement in winter sports, bring attention to the growing impact of climate change, and support sustainable tourism. 

Over the last two winters, the Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Wendy Gilmour, and colleagues have visited communities in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan to support local efforts to: build ice surfaces suitable for hockey, curling and other winter activities; provide equipment (including some donations from the Canadian-Pakistan Friendship Association); coach local boys and girls in hockey and skating skills; and participate in winter events, such as the Hindukush Snow Sports Festival in Madaklasht, Chitral.

Canada is a global leader on climate change, and believes in supporting youth climate awareness and community-based action, including by getting youth engaged in sport and their natural environment.  “Supporting girls’ and boys’ interest and access to winter sport will bring physical, social and economic benefits – not the least of which is the development of sustainable tourism opportunities,” stated High Commissioner Gilmour while meeting with community leaders during her visit to Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan in January and February this year.

 High Commissioner Gilmour stressed the many areas in which Pakistan and Canada can cooperate, including: Canada’s contribution to climate change initiatives benefiting Pakistan, such as the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility; Canada’s support for environmentally-sustainable projects; and in particular, Canada’s ongoing efforts to support healthy communities, families and women’s economic empowerment. She emphasized that “Canada values opportunities like this to partner with communities on shared values and interests, such as addressing climate change, protecting the environment, promoting sustainable and responsible tourism, and ensuring equal opportunities for women and girls.” 

The High Commission of Canada was thrilled to work with the National Hockey League on this video, which features the work of: Air Commodore (Ret’d) Shahid Nadeem, Convener; the Adventure Group National Tourism Coordination Board;  the Gilgit-Baltistan Winter Sports Federation; Col (Ret’d) Walli; Mr. Irfan Karim; and the Booni Environmental Academy. Recognizing their contribution, High Commissioner Gilmour stated that “the dedication and commitment of these individuals and their communities is what is making this initiative a success, and will ensure the future of Pakistan as a winter sports country.”