`Let the good times roll’: Roller skating fever grips old Srinagar

Srinagar: Aman Hanief, 3, is not able to talk perfectly but his love for roller-skates is inexplicable.

 Aman’s day starts at 11.30 am when he accompanies his father to Radpora Stadium for practice. Till 2.30 pm, Aman practices hard like a pro. His energy levels and fascinating moves even surprise the coaches.

Welcome to old Srinagar city, where Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council (JKSC) has for the first time organized a coaching camp for roller skating enthusiasts.

Photo by Nida Sadiq/ KM

 “This camp started on September 5. Around 45 participants are currently training in the camp”, said Mohammad Ashraf Diju, coach of the camp.

The subtext of the training camp is to beat the lockdown blues and  prepare local youth for the forthcoming Championship.

“Motive of the camp is to help youth to beat lockdown blues and mental disturbances. We are using sports to instill hope and inculcate discipline among them. The purpose is to make them physically and mentally fit”, said Ashraf.

Not only boys but girls are actively participating in this camp. Wafa Tariq, a teenager, is one of many girls who have joined the camp. “We learn teamwork, coordination, and discipline. It also helps in breaking the societal taboo that girls are weak,” she said.

Captain of girls’ team, Wafa has won 12 gold medals in speed skating and one gold medal in roll ball at the state level.

Such is the enthusiasm that players from other games are turning up at the camp to hone their skills. “Before joining this camp I was interested in football. When I heard that roller skates camp is being organized, I decided to give it a try,” said Umaid, a resident of Radpora.

Photo by Nida Sadiq/ KM

Though the game is attractive, there are high chances of injury. Balancing and moving on wheels is very difficult for a beginner. “Many times we fell down and it causes serious injuries.  Our coach always helps us to overcome fear”, he said.

Coach Diju said a doctor is always available to treat any injured player. “We have adequate first aid kits available. A doctor is also stationed in the camp. So in case of any injury, we give immediate treatment,” he said. 

Photo by Nida Sadiq/ KM

However, he rued the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards the game. “Government should provide us some infrastructure and necessary equipment so that more people join in”, Diju said.

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