Srinagar: Young girls in Kashmir Valley are not only turning to non-traditional sports but are also making Kashmir and the country proud by excelling in sports. Afreen Haider, a 21-year-old Taekwondo player, is one such athlete who has created a ruckus in the sports world in the Valley. Afreen has so far won several medals and awards for her outstanding performance in state, national and international competitions and is the first female athlete from Jammu and Kashmir to win an official junior Taekwondo medal at the international level. Afreen, a resident of Srinagar, has been playing Taekwondo since the age of seven.

Afreen said that she initially took up sports as a hobby, which later turned into a profession. Taekwondo is not only a passion for her, but she is also looking forward to a future in the sport and aspires to represent the country in the Olympics. After graduating from Delhi University, he continues to practice hard under the supervision of his coach.

Afreen regularly participates in G2 level competitions where only top level athletes participate. He recently took part in three such events in Tehran. Afreen was also appointed as the coach of the Kashmir province, but resigned due to personal reasons. She competes in the Under 62kg category and is ranked number one in the country and 85th in her category globally. Afreen’s mother Shiraz Malik says that Afreen is making her dreams come true and she is proud of her daughter. Shiraz said, “I also had a passion for sports, but my family did not support it. That’s why I fully supported my daughter from the very beginning as she is a sports addict.”