Canadian HC hosts girls in sports gala, Banff film festival.

ISLAMABAD -- The High Commission of Canada, Islamabad has hosted its second annual Girls in Sports Gala and Banff Mountain Film Festival.

In partnership with Right to Play, the Festival brought together over 200 girls as well as a diverse audience of notable female athletes, women's rights activists, government officials, diplomats, and local not-for-profit organizations supporting the empowerment of women and girls through sport, said a news release issued by the embassy.

The festival featured inspirational films, engaging discussions, sports activity stations, as well as handicraft and food stalls, which highlighted the impacts of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), particularly in the areas of women's entrepreneurship, empowerment and socio-economic inclusion.

The CFLI supports local partners with modest funding for small-scale, high-impact projects. The festival also intended to encourage and inspire the next generation of female athletes in Pakistan. It was an opportunity to provide awards to two notable girls' sports teams, the Islamabad Girls Basketball team and the Chitral Girls IceHockey team, both of which won their respective national championships.

The event also featured a panel discussion moderated by renowned journalist and filmmaker Munizae Jahangir that highlighted the achievements and contributions of Pakistani women who have excelled in their respective fields, as well as male allies supporting the inclusion of females in sports.

The panelists included Amna Beg, Assistant Superintendent, Islamabad Police; Karishma Ali, renowned football player and social entrepreneur; Sana Mahmud, former captain of Pakistan's football and basketball teams and a Right to Play Ambassador; Ishrat Fatima, Civil Society Manager with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme; Asif Murad, founder and CEO of the Booni Environmental Academy; and Ehtesham Karim, founder of Fight Fortress.

The panelists shared their inspiring stories and experiences while also highlighting the barriers that are still left to overcome for supporting girls' full inclusion in sports.

Another key highlight of the festival was the screening of Canada's celebrated Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, which featured more than a dozen films showcasing the best of outdoor adventure, culture, and environment-themed international films.

The film selection highlighted the beauty and diversity of mountain landscapes, as well as the challenges facing these regions due to...

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