“One of the greatest gifts of the martial arts is that they ultimately guide us to new levels of spirituality.” –Joseph Cardillo
Many sports have gained popularity in Jammu & Kashmir recently. It is not just restricted to only fun, but also creates a feeling of passion and determination and help to grow as an individual. One or the other Kashmiri youth is in the headlines always and making the entire nation proud on National and International platforms. Champions like Roopali S, Shivani Charak,etc. have risen in flourishing colors with the flowing spirit of sports in Jammu and Kashmir. Keeping the fame and game on in Cricket, Table Tennis, Football and Basketball, youth is creating their names in Martial Arts also. It is much more than a sport and its benefits are numerously improving the physical and mental health. Especially for girls, it creates a feeling of self-dependence in them.
To promote Martial Arts, Our Army organizes Kashmir Taekwondo Championships every year. Players from districts like Bandipora, Srinagar, and Baramulla participated voluntarily and showed their talent. It is so motivating to see that people actually understand the importance of sports and are encouraging each other.
Many champions from Kashmir have created history in Taekwondo. Atul Pangotra, A Taekwondo Coach has led Indian Taekwondo team in 18th Asian Games 2018 Jakarta, Indonesia. He is the only Indian who is a core member of Asian Taekwondo Union, Asian Taekwondo Poomsae committee and Referee Chairman Taekwondo Federation of India and Vice Chairman Poomsae Committee. He is the first official of Taekwondo from Jammu and Kashmir who participated in Asian games also.
Inspired from him, recently our Kashmiri girl, Isha Sharma became the first girl to won bronze medal at National Level Taekwondo Championship organized by Bharati Vidya Sansthan at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh A class 10th student from a village name Dhanori, Udhampur District has made the whole state proud. Isha hailed from the economically weak background but she never gave up on her dreams. She fought with all the odds and made her way. Being a topper in academics also she has equally balanced her sports and academic life. Her parents and teachers are so proud of her and she gave all the credits of her success to them only.
When asked how she felt after this achievement, she replied, “I am very happy to attain such success in a national level event. Whatever I have achieved so far is just because of my family’s constant support. Though my families is not well of still my father, who is only a driver by profession and my mother never discouraged me to take up Taekwondo as a player. In fact, they always encouraged me to excel in the game.”
We at New Age Kashmir congratulate our rising taekwondo star, Isha Sharma, for her first-hand victory. This is just the beginning of a bright future ahead. May more children inspire from her passion and work towards achieving their dreams.
Jammu and Kashmir along with its beauty is a place of hardships as well. It is beyond arguable that life is a little hard in here as compared to the rest of our country. Children are thus naturally headstrong and strong-willed here because they know that Hard Work is the Key to Success. Every day we are amazed by the achievements of our youth, their valor and strength to fight the odds and win the hearts of millions. We have had inspirations like Nadiya Nighat (J & K’s first female football coach), Iqra Rasool (the brave woman cricketer), Irtiqa Ayoub (the senior Rugby Player), Tajamul Islam (the kickboxing champ), and many more that it is truly hard to keep count of.
One such youngster among our rising champions is Shivani Charak, the golden sport climber of Jammu and Kashmir.
17 year old Shivani belongs to the humble town of Dharmal in Jammu. She is currently a student of Senior high school (Class 12th). In the initial stages of her career as a climber, Shivani battled with cancer, however it did not stop her from continuing to pursue her dream of becoming a renowned climber. She pays due credit to her coach at Shining Star Academy for his continuous support in shaping her to reach where she is today.
Journey of a climber within Shivani
Sport Climbing is a form of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock for protection. It has seen a transition from requiring physical strength to needing more of logical thinking. When climbing a wall or a rock, one has to be tactical and efficient. In this light, Shivani has gained her confidence through hard training and continuous practice. Having full support from her family, she practiced with other climbing aspirants and her coach in a school, the only one in Jammu and Kashmir that has a 40 feet tall wall to practice climbing. And with time, she achieved one goal at a time, climbing the stairs to success one by one.
Achievements so far
- In the year 2015 she became the National Champion in Speed climbing besides winning a bronze medal in Bouldering.
- In 2016 & 2017, Shivani won 7 Gold & 4 Silver medals in North Zone and National competitions. (She was sent to Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia for training after her achievements in the above years.)
- In the beginning of 2018, Shivani was chosen by Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), New Delhi, to represent India in 18th Asian Games to be held at Jakarta-Palembang in Indonesia in September, where she achieved the 11th spot.
- She was then selected by IMF for representing the country in the forthcoming Asian Youth Championship to be held at Chongqing in China from 1st to 4th November, 2018 where she secured 9th rank.
It is eminent to mention that Shivani has been improving her game with every competition. She accepts her results like a challenge and work harder the next time. Her progress can be termed as a pre Olympic preparation. And good performance in these competition will facilitate Shivani’s selection for the Olympic Games to be held in Japan in April, 2020.
“In an interview with JK Media, Jammu & Kashmir, Shivani mentions that it would be much relevant for aspiring and struggling climbers of the state if a wall was to be built by the authorities. She says that it becomes hard for her and others to travel to Delhi for practice as continuous travelling hinders with their studies. If Jammu & Kashmir is to have a professional climbing wall of its own, it would be better for them and the upcoming generation of sport climbers.”
Shivani Charak has internationally made a mark on the sport of Climbing & Bouldering. Facing various challenges in all her competitions has improved her game and increased her confidence. At New Age Kashmir, we salute her strength and hard work and hope she inspires more girls to participate in climbing, a sport generally stereotyped to be a male’s domain. We wish her lots of luck and power to continue breaking stereotypes, working hard to achieve big and make India prouder by achieving a place in Olympics 20’.