Afreedi Ahmad Sheikh, a young kabaddi player from Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, was passionate for the game since his childhood and wanted to move ahead with it.
Now, a 12th class student at Government Higher Secondary School, Haran Soibugh in Budgam, Afreedi started taking the game seriously from last four years for which has been taking training at the Polo Ground Srinagar. Last month, he participated in an inter-district Kabaddi tournament at Pahalgam.
Recently, the 18-year-old was selected in Midline Kabaddi Academy Karjat Maharastra where he received the award of appreciation after joining a two-week training camp at GDC Pampore and a trail in Delhi.
“I wanted to participate in kabaddi from my childhood by my parents did not allow me in the young age. It was my dream but I did not get the right platform to express my talent. Then, I got the opportunity and I expressed my talent fully,” he said.
In the village there were no such facilities available and he could not participate in an early age. He is the only kabaddi player in Soibugh village, which is famous for sports activities.
“Kabaddi has a huge career and there are also a lot of job opportunities that the players can explore. Even a player can get a government job. I want to explore the game further,” said Afreedi whose father is a shopkeeper.
As his parents did not allow him to go for kabaddi in the young age, he developed interest in martial arts and won gold in Jammu and Kashmir State Wushu Championship held in 2016.
Later, he also participated in Kickboxing National School Games Federation of India in Bilaspur Chhattisgarh and won bronze in 2018.
“Now I am learning kabaddi with great enthusiasm and want to represent Jammu and Kashmir at many platforms in national events,” he said.
Afreedi appeals youth to participate in sports activities and get rid of from negative activities.
“Today, drug addiction is on its peak and the menace is rising day by day. Youth should involve themselves in sports activities and work hard. There is lot of opportunities in different sports and the youth should explore these opportunities,” he said.