Following a tweet from Namal Rajapakse, who posted a video posted originally by New Delhi based World Is One News India, on the efforts of the girls from Kashmir who have taken up the sport of rugby, the former Sri Lanka national captain is set to leave for Kashmir along with a coaching contingent for a coaching camp.
Ever since the former S. Thomas’ and Navy SC player and current Member of Parliament came across the news on the efforts of the girls in Jammu Kashmir, Namal has had his focus on their development.
Breaking social boundaries to pursue their passion for #rugby
Amazing piece of how young girls from Kashmir are defying norms to be empowered through sport. #sports #Empowerment @IRBTotalRugby @PhilGreening @ThePapareSports @WIONews https://t.co/aXwfRFjbwz
— Namal Rajapaksa (@RajapaksaNamal) March 14, 2018
It went to an extent where he had personally contacted the local governing body in the district and promised to conduct a coaching camp for the players.
“We are exploring the possibility of training sessions. Taking the circumstances in Kashmir into consideration, sports can play a great role in reconciliation, building community and leadership,” added Namal speaking to The Hindu earlier in March.
Keeping to his promise, he along with the current CH & FC captain Rohitha Rajapakse, renown coach Ronny Ibrahim and former women’s rugby player Inoshi Priyanga will leave for Kashmir this weekend for a workshop with the team.
“From simply sharing the WIONews report of the efforts of a passionate rugby team in #Kashmir to actually flying out for a workshop. You’re most welcome! Myself & Rohitha are looking forward to meeting you all soon.” Rajapakse tweeted as the contingent looks to provide the team with a valuable training in the coming days.
The news report that sparked interest
Their Society hasn’t yet fully embraced the girls’ cause yet but the team is battling through the stereotypes and the negativity both on and off the field.
From street protests hindering daily activities to threats from individuals to the players, these girls are tackling quite a lot to continue their dreams.
“There is unrest here but we find it difficult to be on the ground, but tackling all these difficulties we manage to be on ground” added one of the senior players from the team.
Women’s rugby in India is still in its infant stages with the sport still in the process of getting absorbed to the sports system. The Indian Women’s sevens team has been a regular participant in Asia Rugby tournaments and were runners up in the Asia Rugby Women’s Sevens Trophy which is the Tier 1 tournament for Asia.