Handwara girl shining in ‘Kudo’ amid no Govt support

Excelsior Sports Correspondent

Srinagar, Sept 29: A teenage girl from North Kashmir’s Handwara is excelling in ‘Kudo’ which is a Japanese hybrid martial art and has so far been able to bring laurels to the Union Territory of J&K.
While talking to Excelsior Mehreen Altaf Banday, 17, said that she has been playing martial arts for the last more than 5 years and switched over to ‘Kudo’ two years ago.
While the initial game in Mumbai turned out to be a bit difficult for her, the tournaments that followed after that turned out to be a cakewalk for her. “In Mumbai, I secured silver as that was my first game, but after that, the things changed,” she said.
Mehreen then played in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and recently, she participated in one such sports event in Himachal Pradesh. “In all these events, I bagged gold and I am looking forward to doing more in this regard, provided the administration supports the game as it should be,” she said.
She said that the way the administration should have been supporting the game is not happening on the ground. “There is a need to recognize the game so that it flourishes,” she said.
Mehreen is being trained at ‘Olympians Faisal Martials Art Academy’ in Handwara ever since she was in class 6 and has been actively participating in the workouts and the varied nature of training being provided by her Coach Renshi Faisal Nazir who is a J&K representative of Akshay Kumar’s Martial Arts Organization, and President Kudo Association of J&K.
While talking to Excelsior her coach said that the game is represented in India by Akshay Kumar and is registered with the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and is registered in school games as well.
“She (Mehreen) has been learning since class 6. She participated in the district as well as state-level tournaments and was at the end selected for the nationals. She has amazing achievements and has got huge potential. She has succeeded in karate and other martial art games as well,” Faisal, who is heading the game in at least 18 J&K districts, said, adding that she also has silver in the Akshay Kumar Invitational international event.
With regard to the support to the game from the administration, he said that Sports Council has not been responsive and has been making the athletes as well as coaches who are related to the game suffer and the same is turning out to be discouraging.
He said that the Sports Council has not been even bothered to recognize the game and has been in turn proving to be a spoilsport. “They are hardly bothered about the game as well as the athletes while they don’t have an ounce of respected for the game,” he said.