Ice Skating champs Wafa-Shifa inspire girls in Sonamarg

Excelsior Sports Correspondent

Srinagar, Jan 1: Two young siblings who have participated in the nationals of Ice Skating, representing Jammu and Kashmir, showcased their skills today at the newly inaugurated skating rink in the tourist resort Sonamarg. They encouraged girls to engage in this unique sport.
Wafa Tariq and Shifa Tariq, both teenagers from the HMT area of Srinagar, actively participate in the sport and have competed in several national events, witnessing their own growth with each passing year.
While participating in the sport at Sonamarg, they expressed that they have observed immense talent and potential among the new entrants to the game.
They noted that with proper guidance, these newcomers can reach great heights.
“It’s great to be here in Sonamarg participating in skating. Earlier, we only had it in Gulmarg, but the authorities have taken a welcome step that will hugely benefit local players and attract tourists,” said Wafa.
She added that there has been an immense response from the players, emphasizing that when facilities are provided, eager youth will ultimately participate, while urging girls to actively participate in this unique sport.
“Due to fears of injuries, girls often avoid participating in Ice Skating, but I urge them not to hold back and show active participation,” she said.
Her sister, Shifa, who has also played at the national level, referred to her sister as a driving force in her participation in Ice Skating.
She acknowledged the talent of local athletes in Sonamarg and noted that those learning the sport are also performing well.
Shifa described the game as unique, stating that there is room for girls to join and reach great heights.
“There are more boys than girls; the number of girls involved in Ice Skating is way less, leaving room for them to join and grow. I have seen myself growing over the years,” she said.
It is noteworthy that the Ice Skating program was recently launched by the Sonamarg Development Authorities in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and other related departments, aiming to provide local players a platform and offer an additional attraction to tourists visiting the area.