In a historic first, a Snow Football match was held at the Kalash Ice and Snow Festival in Bumboret, Kalash Valley, in the region of Chitral. The festival itself was organized by the Hindukush Snow Sports Club whereas the match was organized by the District Football Association of Lower Chitral. CoPilotCares, a CSR arm of CoPilot, a health-tech company operating in the US, was the Title Sponsor of this match
For the match, the Hindukush Snow Sports Club and DFA Lower Chitral both fielded teams predominantly comprised of players from the Kalash Valley. DFA Lower Chitral won the encounter 1-0 in regular time, to mark a momentous occasion for football in the Kalash Valley, which hasn’t seen official matches held in recent years. There were close to 300 attendees who came to witness the historic event at the Krkal Football Field in Bumboret. Cash prizes and trophies were handed out to both teams at the end, with thermal apparel given in kind to both sets of teams to deal with the sub-zero temperatures of the playing arena.
There were many prominent figures present at the event, including the DSP of Bumboret and Shahzada Hasham Ul Mulk of Drosh, Chitral who also happens to be at the helm of the Hindukush Snow Sports Club.
Hussain Ahmed, the patron of DFA Chitral, had the following to say. “Around 30 years ago an unofficial kick-about was held in the Kalash Valley where teams weren’t participating for prizes or trophies and weren’t assembled under any sanctioned organization or club, let alone a Football Association. It gives me great pride to announce that the Kalash Valley is now open for official activities”.
Bilal Mumtaz, Team Principal of DFA Lower Chitral, was elated about the event. “It is my understanding that February boasts the harshest weather conditions for all regions of Chitral. Even entering Chitral at the time of the Kalash Ice and Snow Festival was very cumbersome for tourists and for local Chitralis as well. Accessing the Kalash Valley is even tougher with no proper road infrastructure in place. However, I’m glad to have worked with all partners of the event, namely CoPilot, Hindukush Snow Sports Club, and the DFA Lower Chitral to manage a historic football event not just in the Kalash Valley or Chitral but for the nation as well. From working with different age groups, it’s now time to work with different climates and geographies to develop football in the largest combined District (Upper and Lower) in KPK”
Moby Kazmi, Chairman of CoPilot, had the following to say. “CoPilotCares has been conducting a good deal of CSR in Pakistan, by establishing orphanages and solar-powered water pumps in remote areas of the country. We thought it would be fitting to contribute to sports in remote areas of the country as well, and have been supporting football in Chitral over the past year so far. We are deeply impressed with the pool of talented footballers in this remote region of Pakistan, where there is a severe lack of facilities and promotion of talent on a nationwide scale. CoPilot has made efforts to have Chitral’s footballers showcase their talents at regularly held events across 3 different age groups – youth, seniors, and veterans – and now we have boldly gone into new frontiers by holding an event in a different geographic climate in an area with very little digital connectivity – the Kalash Valley. We hope to break more barriers through the power of sports in the future, and expect a lot of positive impact through activities like these in societies like Chitral’s”
Muhammad Nayab is a visionary leader in enterprise development and training with 15+ years of experience. As a serial entrepreneur, he has successfully led ventures in consulting, IT, and education. Nayab's passion lies in unlocking human potential, and he has trained over 4000 individuals in digital skills, leadership, communication, and conflict resolution. He is a trusted consultant to renowned organizations and the Founder/CEO of Qashqar Chitral. Muhammad Nayab is dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations, driving success, and making a lasting impact in the field of enterprise development and training.