With the aim to provide comfortable platform for the young aspiring cricketers of Kashmir Valley, a youth from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district established a sports academy at Pune in Maharastra.
Rouf Ur Rafiq, owner of Pulwama Gymkhana team belongs to Lajora village of Pulwama, who is working as Assistant Professor at Cluster University, Kashmir, and has started a sports academy at Pune, titled ‘Brilliant Sports Academy & Cric Challengers’, with the motive to change the style of cricket in Kashmir, and to provide appropriate platform for young aspiring cricketers.
Rouf has been very enthusiastic towards cricket since his childhood and has promoted cricket in Pulwama district after starting Pulwama Gymkhana Cricket Club for the players of nearly 32 villages of the district.
Talking to a journalist, Rouf has said that he is interested in cricket since his childhood, and would even read about cricket when he was in 8th class only.
He said that he pursued education in Pune and Mumbai, besides Kashmir, and had later established an academy at his village, titled ‘Green Sports Academy’, for the football, cricket and volleyball players, while he accordingly started Pulwama Gymkhana, particularly for the players having poor background.
He added that the players performed very well through his cricket club, following which seven players were selected for national level.
Giving details about the Brilliant Sports Academy & Cric Challengers established in Pune, Rouf said that he went several places, especially Jammu, Chandigarh, Delhi and Bengaluru, “but has found Pune comfortable for players of Kashmir, as the conditions are favourable with normal temperature and breeze.”
He added that Pune has more than 35 academies, while it has 10 types of turf wickets, due to which he had chosen the said place for the aspiring sportsmen of the Valley.
As per him, seven players from the Kashmir Valley, and 3 locals have already registered their names in the newly established academy, while more than 27 others are also supposed to join it.
“Our academy in Srinagar, Kashmir, will also remain functional in summers. However, the Pune-based academy will remain open throughout the year, where we are supposed to train youngsters in football, Volleyball, hockey and chess, Besides Cricket,” Rouf said.
Meanwhile, the owner of the academy has said that he also tries to promote the culture and heritage of Kashmir, and has served guests with Kashmiri dry fruits (walnut, almond) and Kashmiri ‘KAHWA’.