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Irtiqa Ayub – Kashmir’s First and Youngest Rugby Coach

Written by KashmirUnheard

Video By: Nadiya Shafi | Article By: Nusrat Ali

Irtiqa Ayub, a 23-year-old student from Srinagar persuing her BPed from a college is an example of courage who trains students and kids from her locality in rugby. She trains girls in a private school of Srinagar, as in the past she has faced being discriminated.

“Girls are usually not allowed to play in the open fields due to prevailing social and conflict issues”, says Irtiqa.

Irtiqa has always been into sports and loved playing football. But when rugby was first introduced in her school, she was hesitant to play. “I had no idea about the sport, the rules and how it’s played. I hadn’t even seen how the ball looked like. When the coach encouraged us, I decided to give it a try but was still hesitant,” she says. However, after a week of playing rugby, she realised that she was going to enjoy this rough contact sports.

Since then, there has been no looking back. Irtiqa has won seven gold medals at the state level, and seven at the district level. She won a silver medal for Rugby 7’s in 2016 and 2017, and a gold medal for snow Rugby in 2017. She has participated in several events across Indian states. Irtiqa is leading young girls into the sports field.

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