Aakanksha N Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, February 13
A group of nearly 25 young female wrestlers, who came to give trials on the first day, caught everyone’s attention. Theirs was the only team that participated in the trials at the Hansraj Stadium here.
Most of the girls who have been getting trained at the Jagjit Academy belong to economically backward families, but their dreams are big enough to not let any problem come their way.
Daughters of labourers, marginal farmers and daily wagers, the girls have been practicing hard to become star wrestlers.
Prabhjot Kaur (13), a gold medallist in wrestling, is enthusiastic about the game.
The young girl, whose father is a worker, when asked what is the initial requirement to become a wrestler, replied without a pause: “You have to be strong enough to get into wrestling.”
She said: “It was my father who always motivates me to perform well in sports and asks me to perform better than boys.”
Prabhjot had won a bronze medal at the state-level games in Faridkot last year.
Samarpreet Kaur from the district is another wonder who has already won seven medals and is polishing her skills by practicing daily. Daughter of a marginal farmer, Harpreet Kaur is another wrestler who had won a gold in the national school games last year. And there are several other girls who have been making their parents proud by winning medals. Former international player Jagjit Singh, who established this academy, is posted with the Punjab Police at Ludhiana.
Coaches at the academy are proud of their students. Mandeep Sharma, an international coach, said the practice was held two times a day, in the morning and evening. Refreshment and uniform were also given by the academy itself to the players who have played at the state and national levels. There is some help from the Sports Department as wrestling mats and gym facilities had been provided by the department.
Many players from the academy have already played nationals.
Even on the second day, the participation remained abysmal. According to the official records, in badminton, only four boys and one girl gave trials. As many as 22 and 40 players reached the venue to give trials for kabaddi and kho kho, respectively.
In weightlifting, only 18 boys took part in the trials while in athletics, 47 players appeared.
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