If one has firm determination and willpower for a defined goal, then nothing can stop one from achieving success. Though in some people this quality is bestowed by God, some develop it by practice. This seems fit for Srinagar girl Salbeena Shalla, who with hard work and determination won the title of strong woman of Kashmir and dreams of representing the country in Olympics.
The 19-year-old always wanted to do something different from her peers and was passionate about lifting weights from an early age.
Salbeena, who hails from Fetahkadal area in Srinagar, is currently a gym trainer and is pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Government Degree College, Bemina. She would lift weights which would seem difficult to lift even to men but her iron-will, passion and training made this Srinagar girl famous for lifting heavy weights.
Talking about her journey, she said she used to go to the gym randomly; it was only after her coach insisted her to compete in the powerlifting competition that she proved her mettle for the first time. Since then the teenager has not looked back.
“It was my coach and trainer Khalid Umar who found potential in me for this professional sport and he motivated me to appear in the power-lifting competition for the first time,” Salbeena told Rising Kashmir.
She has taken part in two-state, and three district level championships in powerlifting while bagging several gold medals. She also has gold to her name in the weightlifting category.
“I have been awarded strong woman title 2021-22 in overall district level competition, and have won first health and fitness women championship in crossfit 2021 as well,” She said.
“I had a passion for weightlifting from an early age. I believe that one day I shall be part of the Olympic game representing my country at the international arena,” she said.
She said that she restarted her schedule after the spread of Covid 19 pandemic which caused back-to-back lockdowns and put a halt on all types of activities including sports.
“It has been 11 months now since I started weightlifting under the supervision of weightlifting coaches Showkat Narwari and Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar at Gindun Stadium Rajbagh,” she said.
While recalling an event that motivated her for weightlifting she said one day she was taking part in a competition where experts saw potential in her and asked her to join a training session at a local stadium.
“The next day I went to the stadium and joined weightlifting training. Since then I am continuously training and my coaches are working hard on me as they want to see me playing in nationals this year,” she said.
“Soon after joining weightlifting I left power-lifting completely,” she said.
She claims that it is after around 20 or 30 years that a women weightlifting team is coming up from J&K.
“I express my gratitude to the secretary sports council for bringing new weight lifting equipment and providing a platform in the stadium for girls," she said.