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Kashmiri youngster striving to fulfill Olympic dream

By Nadiya Altaf

The young proficient graduate and a solitary participant in Taekwondo from North Kashmir Baramulla is on rise.

23-year old Danish an aspiring and fearless player of India has won 22 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals so far.

Danish stepped in Taekwondo in his Class 8. He got the concept of the game through Chinese movies especially of Jackie Chan.

He played his first match in Indore Stadium Srinagar with Inter-District Taekwondo championship and achieved a bronze medal.

“Government don’t assist us financially instead we are being financially assisted by J&K Taekwondo Association for National Championship,”says Danish.

He was among the top most players from India in “International Olympic Ranking G1 Championship” held in Hyderabad.

He was the sole person from Kashmir in a National Camp with the top Olympic coach Paul Green of Great Britain.
“While dealing with so many hardships I still got full support and encouragement from my family. They had been admiring and supporting me from my first match that I even lost and achieved bronze medal only. They have always taken interest in my work,” says Danish.
Danish used flip-flops instead of pads on his hands to practice Taekwondo when he was a novice. In absence of necessary body gear Danish and his colleagues had very adversity to go through.Like other sports fanatics of his age, he too drafted with the district association under the apprenticeship of Sajid Ahmad Bhat and Ashfaq Wani his first two coach’s whom he considered his great admiration.
“Kashmir has desirable Taekwondo Coaches but what it pathetically lacks is awareness and infrastructure,” says Danish .” Initially we had lack of equipments and government support but we still managed, he added. Danish believes that if Jammu and Kashmir qualifies for Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Territory will get renowned international coaches to train the players.
Danish says,”When they will provide training,it will intensify our skills. We are currently following the regional game plan.” When players in Kashmir would be enlighten with right techniques,right implementation of footwork, counters and kicks, nobody can stop them from qualifying for international tournaments, he added.
“I also dream of representing India in the Olympics.I know I can do if I get an appropriate coaching and support from Organisations like the Sports Authority of India,” says Danish who has a great confidence on his talent and ability.
Danish is currently training under Master Atul Pangotra who is” twice Commonwealth medalist, State and Sher-i- Kashmir Awardee.”He is endorsing Danish in order to prowl after his dreams and is providing him complete assistance in training.
The youngster of the Valley was the participant in “Asian Championship and Asian Indoor” test event and is currently taking training from Atul International Taekwondo Acedamy (AITA). “Koshur Life Style” owned by Miss Saima Beigh and “Fat Panda” owned by Mr.Shahbaz are sponsoring Danish for his Championships.
The yearning and plucky man is making headway towards his dream of representing the Nation in Olympics.