International athletes praise Kashmir and its hospitality
Srinagar, Oct 15: The J&K athletes have shown a considerable improvement in performance at both national and international levels by bagging more than 550 medals so far. Sports pundits attribute the rise in the graph of this performance to the availability of modern-day training facilities, coupled with the grooming of athletes on scientific lines along with the emergence of robust sports culture, besides hosting of many national and international events has helped J&K athletes acquire experience and take big leaps at both national and international level.
One such event, the 6th Senior Asian Pencak Silat Championship is underway at Srinagar’s Sheri Kashmir Indoor Stadium. The first-of-its-kind international event has brought together 150 athletes from 12 countries, who are stationed here next few days.
While Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated the event, he welcomed the players and jury members along with other guests and asked them to enjoy the hospitality of picturesque Kashmir during their stay in the valley.
The national and international players who travel to different places often offer their verdicts during and after their stay.
Similarly, a few players from Malaysia and Indonesia spoke to the desk and were in awe of not only the venue, and place of stay but also the traditional food.
Abdul Malik from Indonesia is in high spirits after winning the fight in weight class B-50-55 against his counterpart from Malaysia by 24/20. Malik believes that the venue has added to his motivation and thus helped in the triumph.
Visiting J&K for the first time, Malik feels more events should be organized in Kashmir as the place has had a soothing effect on him.
Meanwhile, another athlete Mohammad Iqbal was elated after vanquishing his Indian competitor. Iqbal won his game by a huge margin and qualified for the semi-final of the Tunggal in the individual artistic category. Being a foodie and a chance traveller, Iqbal has been to many places around the world but he feels that Kashmiri cuisine is unique. Iqbal says that the food served in Kashmir is blended with a lot of warmth and love and that enhances its taste.
Another Malaysian athlete, Izzul Irfan was all set to play against his Indonesian counterpart. He quickly joined this desk to share his experiences so far. The mood of the Izzul could be gauged from the radiance on his face. He feels that there is something heavenly in Kashmir, though he also comes from a very scenic place. Izzul wants to teach the art of Pencak Silat to young athletes of J&K and in the near future wishes to visit this place more often than not.
Athletes from other countries also wished to share their feedback on the ongoing championship but for the time being their hands were full as they were about to face their opponents in the race for the title.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing championship, Teddy Sutratmadje, Secretary General international Pencak Silat Association who hails from Indonesia said that all the athletes are happy with the arrangements. Sports Council has proved to be a good host thus far and we are completely satisfied with the facility put in place for players, officials, and other guests.
“Kashmir has a lot to offer and I am sure each one of us will carry prized memories of this place along,” he said.
Secretary Sports Council Nuzhat Gull, when asked about the challenges to organize events of such a high magnitude, smilingly quoted Winston Churchill and said, “We are the masters of our fate. The task which has been set on us is not above our strength; its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our cause and an unconquerable willpower, victory will be within our grasp.”
“It is always tough to be the host but J&K Sports Council is ready for any challenge”, she added.