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Kashmir’s Rugby girls dreaming for bigger platforms
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Kashmir’s Rugby girls dreaming for bigger platforms

Post by Javid Sofi on Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Esha Ashraf, a class 12th student at a government higher secondary school in Srinagar, has been working hard from past two years to realise her dream of representing her country at international level.
She is U19 player in J and K Rugby Girls team and has represented Kashmir at national level.However, she is very much excited with this sport and wants to demonstrate her skills at a bigger platform.
“I want to be part of our national team and represent my country at international level,” Esha said, adding that for realising her dream she has to work hard.
Esha is the first girl from Zaffron Colony area of Panthachowk to take up Rugby.
She narrated that it was two years back that J and K Rugby association was conducting trails for the sport and she took part in the trials after finding Rugby appealing. It is such a game that you want to excel in it each passing day, she said.
“It is a refreshing and revitalising sport,” she said, adding that it has been quite helpful for her to de-stress.
“You can channelise your anger in a positive way by learning so many things through this game,” she said, adding that it also helps in cultivation other traits like respect for teammates and opponents, obedience to instructions and coordination.
The Rugby player has inspired other girls from her to the sport. “Two girls from my area took up the game after taking out a leaf from my book,” she said.
Like Esha, Asma Mir from Drangbal area of Pampore also has dreams to play in Indian Rugby team and represent country at the international level.
She has been playing the game for past one year. She is also part of same team in which Esha plays, U19 J and K Rugby Girls.
“We played nationals in Bihar state in June 2022 for U18, the experience was quite useful,” Asma said.
The Rugby player from Pampore said that she was attracted towards sports from early age and was following American football.
She told Rising Kashmir that a year ago she learnt from her friends about trials by J and K Rugby Association in Srinagar.“I participated in the trails and was selected for U18 team,” she said.
After watching Asma playing Rugby, her cousins Dar Mehak and Sidrat ul Muntaha also took up the game.The girls are coached by Basit Tariq under the guidance of head coach, Irfan Aziz.
These days the girls practice on Sundays and in summers they practice every day.
“We practice here in a local ground in Pampore, we repeat what we have learnt from our coaches in Srinagar,” Asma said, adding that their senior, Mehvish Wani is also helping in the ground to hone their skills.
The girls enjoy good support from their families.“My father walks to the ground to see how the game is played and it is encouraging for me,” she said.
Rugby is a variation of football, played with hands and by kicking the ball. A player has to run with the ball into opponents in goal area and to pass it through the goal post to secure points.
There are different ways of securing points.The ball can be transferred by backward or sideway passes. Opponent can be tackled by holding with arms below shoulder.

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