Srinagar: In the cricket-crazy Kashmir, squash, and lawn tennis make a splash!
Thanks to Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council, the tennis and squash courts at the Gindun Stadium, Raj Bagh are packed with players in the mornings. The council also offers coaching to wannabe racqueteers.
“Due to the Covid lockdown and no school, students were feeling the need to have physical activities to release mental stress. While the lockdown has eased now, we are witnessing a lot of rush of people especially the youth wishing to play different games. Many are also showing keen interest to play sports like tennis and squash that were not so popular before. We started two squash courts a month back and the response has been great,” Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar, Manager, Gindun Stadium told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said due to Covid SOPs, they were allowing only a limited number of players.
“Due to Covid safety protocols, presently around 20 players are playing squash and around 150 play lawn tennis. We have even held tennis tournaments in the past. Youngsters are also taking a keen interest in wushu. This martial art is becoming very popular of late and around 150 youth are learning it. We are expecting the numbers to increase greatly once the lockdown fully ends,” said Zargar.
He said the sports council had also held online sports coaching classes during the lockdown in view of the demand from sports enthusiasts.
“As both students and parents were feeling stressed out during the lockdown, we had regular coaching classes online on YouTube and other social media handles. We also uploaded videos of cardio workouts, weight training, and yoga besides regular coaching videos of sports like tennis,” he said.
Sports council tennis coach Dilbagh Singh, however, said they had resumed regular offline coaching now.
“We had a good response to online classes where I demonstrated tennis techniques and how to play backhand and forehand shots. Now, we have resumed offline coaching,” Singh told The Kashmir Monitor.