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Asian Games: Canoeist Bilquis Mir first Indian woman to be appointed as jury member

September 11, 2023

Srinagar: A Kashmiri Canoeist has become the first Indian woman athlete to be appointed as one of the jury members for the prestigious Asian Games 2023.

The 19th Asian Games are scheduled to be held in Hangzhou China from September 23.

Bilquis Mir, who is also the Director of Water Sports, Jammu and Kashmir, will be judging hundreds of athletes participating in this sport.

This is the first time that any Indian woman athlete will be judging Canoeing sport at such an international event.

“I recently got an invitation to judge the 19th Asian Games China. It is a proud moment for me as an athlete since I have worked very hard for the last 21 years. Asian Games is a big event in which top athletes from across the world participate in different sports categories,” she told The Kashmir Monitor.

Bilquis said she will be part of the jury panel, which comprises members from Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, and other countries.

“Selection as a jury member for the Asian Games is the biggest achievement for an athlete. Achieving this feat is better for the sports fraternity of Kashmir and the country as a whole,” she said.

Before that, Bilquis was selected as the Technical Official for the Asian Championship, which will be hosted in Uzbekistan.

A known player in the sports arena of J&K, she shifted to coaching and mentoring young talent. She has previously represented India in the Asian Games as an official as well as in Olympic Qualifiers. Apart from that she has been active in the National arena and has held coaching assignments at the National level regularly.

Bilquis is simultaneously preparing athletes to participate in international events in the future.

“I have trained more than 200 girls to date. Our youth has a lot of potential.  and we will soon see a Kashmiri girl represent the country in the Olympics,” she said.

While Bilquis is the first athlete from Kashmir to achieve such a big feat, she said her journey has inspired  scores of athletes to pursue their career in sports

“Right now I see a lot of youth preparing themselves for bigger events. I have been always encouraging them to work hard and dream big,” she said.

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