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Adeela Shafiq Khan: Kashmir’s first female powerlifter

Post by on Sunday, June 12, 2022

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An overweight girl from Budgam who managed to loose 30 kgs of her body weight believe nothing is impossible if one is disciplined and have a firm determination to accomplish a goal.

Few years back, Adeela Shafiq Khan was weighing 89 kgs but with proper exercise, diet and hard work she was successful to make it to 59 kgs.  

In her weight loss journey, she did not know that she would eventually end up becoming a national powerlifter and bring laurels to the valley by bagging several medals at national level competitions.

“It was in 2017 when I got selected for BE (Bachelors in Engineering) at Jammu University. After shifting to Jammu I was overweight which caused certain health issues. After realizing this, I joined a gym and started regular work out there,” she said and added “Within two years of workout i was able to reach to a desirable body weight.” 

Later, after insisting and suggestions from her friends, she opted for powerlifting as she was showing good results in strength training.She played her first bench press championship in Jan 2021 where in she secured two gold medals.

 “This was the beginning of my powerlifting journey and after winning a medal my parents also agreed upon and allowed me to play and I started working for further competition,” she says.

She played in four more competitions from Feb 2021 to April 2021 and bagged several gold medals in all the competitions.

Later, she started training with her friend Gourav Sharma, a national record holder and a player himself, for her first national in Goa. 

“I secured three gold medals and got selected for nationals and secured 4th place there. That was a moment of demise as I shattered down as I was a person who didn't know things below the gold medal and I got a place I wasn't expecting,” she says.

Disheartened by this, she gave up just on all the games and to her, this state of mind continued for a month or more.

“But, after counseling by my parents I started preparing for the full powerlifting nationals with personal assistance by Vikram Jeet, an Asian medalist and also several national record holders,” she said.

In the meantime, she played two competitions for the bench and bagged gold in both these events. Then she got selected for nationals at Alleppey (Alappuzha) Kerala in April where she won one gold, two silver, and one bronze medal in different events respectively.

21- years-old Adeela is now aiming at working on the initiative that includes involving women and girls from Kashmir in powerlifting as she believes just like her there is much talent that is to be unboxed.

For her, “Feminism” is not about making women stronger rather they are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength.

 “Every sector, be it political or social, economic or operational, women are on the path to development due to their intellectual abilities,” she says.

Hailing from Ompora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, Adeela is currently pursuing M.Tech (Mechanical engineering) from Jammu University.

Adeela says that she always wanted to get along within some sports activity but due to the academic pressure she could not pursue her interest in CrossFit games but after shifting to Jammu for studies, she started to go to the gym. 

Since then, Adeela did not look back as gym training had developed in her inclination for the game and she opted for powerlifting after finding herself rigorous in strength training.“The more I had been doing strength training the more I wanted to do it,” she says.

She got more inclined to the game by watching girls who play nationals and internationals.

 “I got inspired watching them playing the game. I even found that there is no girl yet from the Kashmir division who has played in nationals for lifting so I started preparing for the competitions,” she said.

Adeela has played six district-level, two state-level, and two national championships that involve overall lifting as well as bench press and has bagged 15 gold, two silver, and one bronze medal. 

Recently, Adeela got back from the national powerlifting championship that was held in Kerala, there she secured four medals, including one silver (overall), one gold in the deadlift, one silver in the squat, and one bronze in the bench press.

She has also won two gold medals (one in equipped and one in unequipped) in the bench press championship that was held at the muscle factory Jammu, recently.  

Looking forward towards a better future in sports, she is aiming at working on the initiative that includes involving women and girls from Kashmir in Powerlifting. 

She is also aiming to secure a gold medal in the international arena for the country.

 “I am now aiming to participate and am hopeful of securing a medal in international soon and want to make my parents and people of J&K proud of me,” she says.

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