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Award winning Srinagar athlete hopes to coach youngsters in water sports

Post by on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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Zahoor Ahmad Latto, 38, has represented Jammu and Kashmir in many water sports competitions. Resident of Srinagar's Dal Lake, he has won more than 80 medals in various national and international competitions. 
"I have also been awarded the Sher-e-Kashmir Award and the State Award for outstanding performance,” he said.
While talking about water sports in Kashmir, he said, "In 1998, SRO-349 was formed for the players but since 2014 that ceases to exist because of a court case.
“I want to coach youngsters in water sports after retiring from the game, but the policy for the same is not clear."
Latoo wanted to coach the young guns but blames his educational qualification and laid laws as a hurdle in the same. 
"I am a tenth grader and have represented India and Jammu and Kashmir in many competitions. I wanted to take a coaching course but due to my lack of academic qualifications I can't."
Everyday Latoo practices for two hours in the morning and in the evening as well to stay fit and to further improve his sports skills.
"You have to be a good swimmer before one ventures into this field because you never know when your boat can capsize. And to stay fit one needs to practice hard."
Currently working as a head constable in police department, Latoo feels he is yet to get the recognition he deserves.
Latoo began his career in sports during the 1990s by taking part in swimming competitions. Then came 1998 and he took part in World Kayaking and Canoeing Competition which was held at Dal lake. 
"Water sports fascinate me to the core. Till 2019, I won more than 80 medals which include international medals too."
Not content with the kind of response he received, he says: "Though there was encouragement from the police department but I got no such response from the sports association or the administration."
Now Latoo is making utmost efforts to pave way for upcoming players and in this regard he also met a visiting parliamentary delegation recently.
"I was assured that the players who have excelled in international competitions should be given relaxation when they apply for the coaching job. I have also written to the director sports council for the same,” he adds.
 

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