Srinagar athlete Villayat bags 32 medals despite financial constraints
Post by Yaqoob Ali on Friday, October 21, 2022
Villayat Hussain, a casual labourer, from old city of Srinagar has bagged 32 medals in water sports. Lack of financial support has not deterred him from working hard and chasing his dreams.
Hailing from Saida Kadal Mir Behri area of downtown Srinagar, 30 year-old Villayat Hussain Malik is a 32 time medalist in water sports. Recently he bagged silver in National Games of India 2022 in Wild Water Canoe-Kayak Slalom.
He is currently serving as a casual labourer at J&K Sports Council (JKSC) Srinagar.
Villayat Hussain won the silver medal in the Canoe Slalom Men’s Kayak event in the 36th national games of India 2022, held at Sabarmati Riverfront (Paldi) in Gujarat from September 29- October 12. He achieved this feat while competing with the best eight teams at the national event.
He stood second in the final round while taking one minute 24 seconds for passing eight gates in the canoe slalom event.
The young athlete started playing canoe water sports in 2011, soon after he met Bilquis Mir, then a water sports coach at JKSC.
“I met Bilquis madam at Jharkhand who counseled me and asked me to focus on one game-Canoe. It was the moment, since then I took her advice seriously to choose water sports professionally, especially canoe Slalom.
“We started running, swimming, doing workouts at the gym and pedaling (canoeing) regularly under the supervision of Bilquis madam, who had then just returned back to the valley from abroad,” he said.
The Srinagar athlete has won 10 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals in various water sports including Canoe Slalom, Canoe polo, Sprint, Dragon Boats competitions.
As he was training under water sports coach Bilquis Mir, in 2013, his father (the lone bread earner for the family), fell sick leaving him unable to earn bread and butter for his family, thus forcing young Villayat to search for avenues for fulfilling basic needs of his family.
“Bilquis ma'am realized that I have financial issues back home so I was appointed as casual labourer in the sports council,” he said, adding that since then he has been working at sports council.”
However, despite all the difficulties he did not quit and kept working hard to chase his dreams.
“If you are determined enough, nothing is going to stop you from achieving success” he said, adding that the sport demands commitment and hard work, which is a prerequisite in every field of life,” he added.