Srinagar: The will to succeed and bounce back despite adversities are the moments that differentiate an average player from a great player and one such example in our Kashmir valley is of Judoka, Kabra Altaf who bagged gold medal in the National School Games, Under-19 category on Thursday.
A year earlier, no one would have thought that Kabra who suffered a career threatening knee injury during her stay in Central of Excellency Patiala two years back will go on to win gold medal at a national event.
Proving her detractor’s wrong and defeating the injury that was followed by mental depression, lack of physical fitness and various other issues, Kabra Altaf who hails from Srinagar won the gold medal in 62nd National School Games in New Delhi. Kabra was selected for the national event through Department of Youth Services and Sports.
Only couple year’s back, Kabra was reckoned as new judo sensation of Kashmir who had bright future ahead. Having started training in Judo that is considered one of the toughest sports on planet at very young age, Kabra tasted early success in her career. She went on to win bronze medal in cadet and junior nationals in 52 kg weight category in Dehradun and then added another in minus 57 kilogram category at Shilong. In year 2013 Kabra got her selection in the India National camp. Seeing her potential, she also got her selection in prestigious Central of Excellency Patiala. At that time it looked like nothing will stop Kabra from achieving the heights that no Judo player from J&K has ever achieved. However, then the luck played its part, as Kabra suffered career threatening injury during her training that almost ended her career.
The talented Judo player had to return back home from the training centre, and then underwent knee surgery at Delhi sports injury centre.
The time after the any surgery is the period that defines the mental strength of any player. It is the time when one needs total support from family and friends and if not the sports fraternity (which is the case in outside World other then Kashmir).
The severity of her injury was such that rehabilitation and regaining full fitness was always going to be a challenge. Despite her hard work, she started to gain weight, losing her physical fitness to some extent and those who should have supported her started to caste her out from the Judo.
Despite her problems, Kabra’s family kept supporting their child and the result is in front everyone. Kabra went on to win gold medal in the National School games. The national school games are considered as toughest competition at school level. It was her last year in school games and in it she came out with flying colors.
Despite being among one of the top judo players ever produced by State, and going through such a tough phase, Kabra has never been supported or felicitated by Government or the Sports Council.
While the un-recognized and low grade martial art sporting discipline players have earned all the praise it is the Judo and its talented player Kabra that has got no support from Council or Government end till date.
When the player like Kabra needed full support from the concerned, it was that time she found none on her side.
Noted sports journalist and standing committee member of Sports Council, Rifat Abdullah said that it is the duty of Government and Council to look after the welfare of player’s like Kabra.
“The story of Kabra is inspirational that should be praised by one and all. It is never easy to get back from the career threatening injury and go on to win medal in such a competitive event. Judo is among A-Grade sports disciplines and the amount of support it should have got is missing. While we all are praising other non-recognized disciplines we forget that to win even national medal in judo and other A-Grade sports is dream that are rarely achieved,” said Rifat.
“It was duty of sports council and the concerned coaches to look after the rehabilitation process of Kabra after injury. However, as is the case we are missing the clear cut policy through which we can monitor these things. We just go after short fame and hype and miss out on crucial things. I congratulate Kabra for fighting out odds and emerging out as winner in the national event. I am hopeful that she will continue to make JK proud at national level,” he said.