UNDETERRED BY their government’s not-so-supportive response to water sports, they are determined to excel. Their lament: the world famous Dal Lake in Srinagar is not being used for water sports.
The players, who are here to take part in the water sports competition, told the Hindustan Times that the J&K Government is not doing much to promote water sports.
Despite facing problem like lack of equipment, talented players like Mirbilques and Roohi made a mark. The two have won number of medals for their state in the senior national meet. “We have no modern equipment like other states,” said Mirbilques, a student of BA part-I.
Coach Umar Rafique says, “The National Kayaking and Canoeing Association should pay special attention to J&K players as the team is facing many problems, militancy being one of them; if water sports activities can be developed at the Upper Lake of Bhopal, it is also possible in the Dal Lake and Bular Lake which are bigger and better”.
He said militancy has not deterred focused players. But, he said, incidents like the sex scandal in the recent past created problems for girls. “Parents are not willing to allow their daughters to go to distant places,” he admitted.
However, Mirbilques said that her parents are quite cooperative and never put any curbs on practice. Asked about burqua, Mirbilques said that it is tradition, which should be followed. “Veil is good but if you are participating in championship like water sports, it is next to impossible to compete in veil,” said Mirbilques.