Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Jan 21 (ANI): National-level water sports player Maria Jan, who has already earned a name for herself in the state, now wishes to represent India on an International level.
Maria, who lives in Khanyar area of Srinagar city, has won gold and other medals at Junior and senior level national championships like Canoe Sprint National Championship, Polo and Dragon Boat Championship.
Talking to ANI, Maria said, "I started playing sports seeing other girls. I then joined the water sports club at Nehru Park. It was initially difficult to convince family because I was a girl but later I convinced them."
Maria added that she had faced a lot of social stigma when she stepped in sports but overcame all and continued to focus on her passion.
She also praised the efforts of her coach Bilquis Mir for her success.
Maria said that she had taken inspiration from Indian ace badminton player and Olympian PV Sindhu and following the Rio Olympic silver medallist's footsteps, she too wishes to represent India on international stage.
"I have played sub-junior and nationals and now my only target it to make my state's name feature on international level," Maria said.
Giving a message to other women, Maria said, "I urge all women to come forward and take part in sports, be it any. Do not think that girls lack behind in any field, our Chief Minister [Mehbooba Mufti] is also a woman. I want girls to join water sports as they will have a good future here."(ANI)