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Two girls from J&K wheel their way to an international event

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Srinagar: The country has been churning out legendary sportspersons of sheer mettle for so many decades and it also comprises a good lot of athletes who in spite of their physical limitations have earned accolades from time to time.

These athletes come from varied backgrounds and have taken fighting social judgment as well as physical paucity in their stride. Be it by training at home or coping with bruising injuries, they have found ways around all hindrances. The perseverance of these specially-abled athletes showcases the stereotypes and personal adversity that each player overcomes to reach an arena of national or international recognition.

Taking a cue from the way these para-athletes are trained at national and international levels, J&K Sports Council has also been doing its bit to provide all possible facilities to such athletes to bring them to par with their counterparts from other regions. Recently, the Sports Council took a step in a similar direction and organized a selection cum training camp for the Indian Wheelchair Basketball team and in this pursuit, it teamed up with the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) and the Voluntary Medicare Society (VMS).

Around 16 female wheelchair players selected by WBFI from different states of India were part of the Camp and after a battery of selection trials; a team of twelve players was selected to represent the country at the international level. The selected team includes two members Insha Bashir and Ishrat Akther from UT of J&K. While Insha hails from Budgam, Ishrat comes from Baramulla. The team shall participate in the first invitational international wheelchair basketball tournament to be held in Jaypee Sports Complex, Greater Noida from 5th-11th next month.

Terming their selection in the national team as one of the biggest achievements this year, Secretary YSS and Tourism Sarmad Hafeez said that we shall be organizing more such camps in the future and the way two girls from J&K have shown grit and determination to chase their dreams, “I am sure this will inspire our young to work harder towards achieving their goals.”

The Secretary Sports Council, Nuzhat Gull, said, “At a time when many of our young have fallen to the drugs and yet many more are fighting the menace in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, girls like Insha and Ishrat are hope.” “The duo in spite of all the impediments have achieved a milestone and for sure they shall achieve many more in the years to follow,” she added.

Chairman VMS, Masooda Yasin said, “Both players have suffered trauma at a very young age that left them crippled but that did not deter them from chasing their dreams and doing what they thought suits them best.” “It was easy to lose focus but the determined trailblazers overcame grave physical challenges to reach this level,” she added.

Meanwhile, the basketball camp is underway at the multipurpose indoor hall Shadipora, Sumbal Bandipora. The team is training under the tutelage of renowned basketball coach Louis George besides; two national coaches are also on the job to hone the skill set of the team.

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