The breathtaking Gilgit-Baltistan valley is rapidly becoming a women’s sports talent hotspot. Hundreds of girls from Gilgit participated in two sports events last week — the Gilgit Baltistan Girls Football League and the Gilgit Girls Cricket Tournament.
Many talented sportswomen have come from Gilgit and have made Pakistan proud and seeing them prosper in Pakistan has inspired other girls residing in Gilgit to take up sports.
A football event featuring eight teams was organized by the Inayat Sisters — Sumera and Karishma – of the Al-Shams Football Club. Meanwhile, a cricket event was organized by athlete Misbah Hina, in collaboration with Right To Play, Pakistan.
Over 150 girls — divided into around 10 teams — were allowed to showcase their talent at a grassroots level in the tournament. It was the first-ever sports activity for many.
Speaking to Geo News, the organizer and a volleyball athlete, Misbah Hina, said that she felt encouraged to see girls participating in the tournament with full energy. “The aim to organize this event for girls was to provide them more opportunities in cricket. There were 10 teams, all Gojal villages, that participated in the event,” she said.
“It was a very good event, the energy displayed by the girls was really amazing,” she added. “It has motivated me to organize more events in the future for them. And it was good to see parents and locals coming to the ground and cheer for these girls. I hope they’ll continue supporting girls in sports.”
Hina confirmed that teams from the villages of Gilgit, Passu, Shisket, Ghalapan, Sarteez, Gircha, Jamalabad, and Khudabad participated in the tournament. Moreover, the players aged 13-29.
A source of empowerment
Participants in the tournament emphasized the need for more such activities to empower girls in the valley. “Overall, it was a very good experience,” said Hadiya, who represented Passu’s team in the tournament. “Not only for sports but it was also a good thing for the empowerment of women.”
Shumaila, the captain of Gulmit and Mahajabeen of Ghanaian, backed Hadiya’s opinions. They both said that the girls of the valley need more activities to participate in sports.
“We couldn’t go beyond the semi-finals this time, but we are now very motivated to do better and win the title next time,” Hadiya added. “I hope they come back again and organize the tournament for us.”
A large number of women participated in sports, encouraging the locals in the valley to visit the ground and cheer for the girls. It was a very pleasing sight for them to watch young girls compete with such passion and energy.
Having won the tournament, the girls celebrated their victory, lifting the trophy, and a victory parade on the streets of their village – a testament to the way sport can change lives.
Story Courtesy: Geo News
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