Preparations for the Khelo India Youth Games are in full swing. This year the games are being organized in Guwahati between 10th and 22nd January. It is the third edition of these games and around 6,800 athletes are participating. Here, archers Nusrat Rehman and Yasmeen Batool are all set to participate and they will be the first athletes to represent of Leh and Ladakh.

Key takeaways

  • Nusrat Rehman and Yasmeen Batool are the first athletes to represent Leh and Ladakh at the Khelo India Youth Games.
  • The two girls are playing under the guidance of their coach, Khalida Banao.
  • They arrived for these games as wild card entries in the under-17 category.
  • Nusrat comes from a family of Archers.

Young girls representing a fresh union territory

Nusrat and Yasmeen will compete nationally in the qualifying rounds of Archery. Their coach, Khalida Banao, will be mentoring them. The girls are a part of Leh and Ladakh contingent which includes five boxers.

They arrived for these games as wild card entries in the under-17 category. The girls have expressed how they feel a sense of belonging amidst their fellow archers and their coaches. “Just being here is hugely inspiring. Looking at the kind of equipment the other archers have, the coaches who have come with them… it gives us confidence,” said Nusrat.

Journeys of Nusrat and Yasmeen

Nusrat took up Archery as a part of her course of studies at Islamia public School, Leh. In spite of coming from a family of archers, she never expected to compete at such a level. Nusrat’s elder cousin and an uncle play the sport.

However, Yasmeen took up the sport only two years ago in Kargil. She professes to be academically inclined. She saw archery at the games and was inspired by Tisha Punia, who is now a fellow competitor.

“Tisha Punia from Haryana is an archer I have been hugely inspired by. She won the gold at the National Championships in 2018 and I am looking forward to watching her here, and learning something too”, Yasmeen said regarding the Khelo India Youth Games.

Their training process

Back home, the young girls trained in the harsh winters. For them, Guwahati felt like summer and they felt more home than anyone else.

“Hard work got us here, and harder work will make us better. And being here convinces us we belong. But there is some way to go yet,” Nusrat said.

Khelo India Youth games attract thousands of participants. It incentivises the youth to take up sporting activities by offering them scholarships for eight years so that they can prepare for various sporting events.

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Vipashyana Dubey is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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