Idrees Ali

Meet Sabiya; International Alpine Ski Racer of Kashmir

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Srinagar, April 02: It is such a peculiar thing to know that a father in Kashmir has allowed her daughter to take up adventurous sports like skiing as a career but Ghulam Nabi Dar, father of Sabiya Nabi International Alpine Ski Racer, choose this “unusual career” for her daughter in which she would participate at national and international levels.

Hailing from Qazipora Tangmarg, a village in north Kashmir, Sabiya Nabi chronicles of skiing starts from the slopes of Gulmarg to Alboraz Mountains of Iran.

Talking to 'Kashmir Images' Sabiya said: "When I was 8, my father took me to Gulmarg and enrolled me in a skiing coaching course. Since then he has stood alongside me throughout this journey."

Sabiya has successfully completed her Basic, Intermediate and Advance courses in Alpine Skiing. At the age of 15, Sabiya competed in Gulmarg Global Derby. It was her first state-level competition in which she won silver. There was no looking back after it as Sabiya continued the winning streak by winning bronze and silver medals in Hotelier's and HAWS Cup respectively.

After tasting success at the state-level, Sabiya became the center of attraction for the selectors and got a call for nationals where she performed outstandingly in junior category. In her debut competition Sabiya won two Gold medals and went on to compete in senior nationals despite being in junior age category.

After regularly participating in nationals, Sabiya underwent trails for the Asian Championship in year 2018 where she finished at 3rd spot and was subsequently selected for the championship which was scheduled to be held in Iran.

"Participating in the Asian Championship along with world class skiers was a lifetime experience for me”, says Sabiya. "Skiing infrastructure in Iran is way more sophisticated and much needs to be done to uplift skiing infrastructure in Kashmir.”

Sabiya says that Kashmir has not even a single International Ski Federation approved slope. “We lack support of government. Skiing is a male dominated sport; nevertheless many girls are taking up the sport. Lack of support has demoralized many talented women skiers,” says Sabiya.

Sabiya says that her dream is to compete in Olympics. Government should come up with robust policy to develop winter sports in India and only then Indian skiers can qualify Olympics,” she adds.

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