Irtiqa Ayoub the fearless youngest rugby player from Kashmir

I was 16 years old when my PT teacher pushed me to participate in a training camp since I was active in schools sports circuit.

I had no idea about the sport or how it is played but then I decided to give it a try and then there was no looking back.

I have won many medals and trophies at the state and district level.  

A silver one in 2016 and 2017 and Gold medal for snow rugby in 2017.

Even though I was the captain of sports team, initially my father did not want me to play rugby.

The roughness of the game was his main concern but inshallah, my life changed as I kept winning medals and trophies he saw my name appear in newspapers, TV and social media, he came around and has been my biggest pillar of strength.

Rugby requires sharp mental alertness, agility, strength and resilience and my parents make sure I have it all, they take care of my diet and fitness schedule.

Fitness freak Irtiqa Ayoub

I wear jeans, hit the gym, go to coach rugby so all the time me and my family get nasty comments from people, death threats due to which I was in depression for a year.

I literally used to cry for entire day with suicidal thoughts.

But my family helped me to move out of this black hole and made me smile.

Abba said, Ignore what people say.
When you makes progress there will be people to shame you and drag you down but we are with you and that’s what matters.

In 2017 I decided to take my love and passion for the sport to next level and started coaching in schools and colleges across the valley.

At the start there were very few girls interested but over the years Rugby has become a popular sport among the girls.

Rugby Coach Irtiqa Ayoub with her students

It’s altogether a different feeling when I see these girls believing in themselves and playing free.

I am proud that some of the girls I have trained have played at state and national levels.

Rugby gives me a passage to take out my pent up anger, aggression.

Come what may, I cannot stop playing because I live for the game now!

I am not shy, I am bold with ambition.

All I want is to be motivated and make Kashmir proud!

(Interviewed and written by Raavya Sarda)

Published by Raavya Sarda

Hi there! I am Raavya Sarda curious blogger and love to explore new things, I write about stories of people their dreams and struggles reflecting each individual is inspirational unique and relatable.

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