When one thinks about women’s life in Pakistan, usually a few images come in the mind such as household work, cooking, and fashion etc. Adventure sports would probably be the last thing a person would think of regarding Pakistani women. In a male-dominated society, women are usually more inclined towards indoor sports or games.
Adventure sports are usually associated with men. Now it is the time to break that stereotype, as a Pakistani woman is more empowered than she has ever been. Today, a Pakistani woman can actively participate in all walks of life. In the present day, we have women excelling in all types of team sports especially in cricket, hockey, football, kabadi etc. and individual games.
Some of the benefits of sports that every woman should know if she wants to excel in sports include: physical fitness, accepting the challenges, patience and perseverance, self-confidence and above all improving the overall physical fitness.
However, so far the ratio of women participating in adventure sports is less. Notwithstanding, there are encouraging signs to see young girls participating in the difficult sports which until recently were only male-inclusive. There is a need to encourage all such players so as to enhance the number of women contributing to adventure sports.
Pakistan is well-known for cricket, hockey, badminton and football etc. However, Pakistan is actually a great place for adventure sports. From cliff diving to scuba diving, from paragliding to rock climbing, Pakistan is a heaven for adventure sports. Here are some adventure sports one can try out in Pakistan:
This adventure sport is becoming increasingly popular among Pakistanis. A few years ago, only a handful of people knew about paragliding. This adventure sport is becoming popular among youngsters and especially amongst the girls. Although the number of females is comparatively less, nonetheless, it is encouraging to see that they are performing good. There are several training schools in Pakistan which are training paragliders such as Pakistan Association of Free Flying.
Battling the waves of an angry river, protected merely by an inflated raft, river rafting can give an individual the adrenaline rush he wants. One can experience it in River Kunhar that flows right next to Naran and Kaghan.
There is no need to travel abroad for this adventure sport, only a trip to the valley of Swat, or Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) will be sufficient for the one who wants to enjoy skiing. Malam Jabba in Swat and Naltar Valley in GB are famous spots for this activity.
Pakistan has more than 162 peaks over 7000 meters and 5 peaks over 8000 meters. In other words, Pakistan is a heaven for rock climbers. The last few years witnessed a sharp increase in the number of female climbers in Pakistan. Several local and national level competitions for youth and females are being held on regular basis, which encourage them to take part and experience the other side of life.
It is one of the common adventure sports amongst the youth of Pakistan. In the last couple of years girls have been actively taking part in trekking all over Pakistan. University students are actively taking part in this game specially in Islamabad, as several opportunities for trekking are available. Those who enjoy trekking even if they are beginners can visit numerous areas up north including Islamabad (Trail 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 etc.), Murree (Pipeline Track, Mukeshpuri Peak) Gilgit, Naran and Swat.
Here are few tips for those playing adventure sport:
• Keep a full kit of tools or equipment related to your sport. If you are going for a hiking you must keep some water, joggers, wear comfortable and soft clothes, and some readymade sweets/ foods etc. to keep yourself hydrated and maintain the energy levels at all times.
• Keep your body flexible. Even if you can’t go out on daily basis, keep practicing some exercises at home everyday to keep your body in good shape. That will help you whenever you go out. You will not tire yourself immediately and your body would be able to reduce the muscle tension.
• Make it a family trip. This would be useful for both you and your family not just as a healthy activity but bonding time as well.
• Enhance your knowledge and technical know-how of difficult sports as all should not be left for ‘self-experience’.
• A little weight training always helps to improve the strength/muscles needed for a particular sport. Lifting light weights at home can help.
• The great thing about most of these outdoor activities is that they provide the best ways of experiencing the landscape you’re travelling through. So never forget to take your camera along.
The writer is a Rock Climber and a paragliding pilot. She is the national champion of Rock Climbing, with 32 consecutive victories.