– Radiance News Service
New Delhi, 13 Sep: Kashmiri water sports coach and Kayaking player, Bilquis Mir, has been appointed jury member for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, starting on September 23, 2023. She is the first Indian woman athlete to hold this position.
The jury panel for the Asian Games includes members from various countries, and Bilquis will represent India. She is also the Director of Water Sports in Jammu and Kashmir and will be judging athletes participating in canoeing at the event. Her appointment as a jury member for canoeing at the Asian Games is a significant milestone for Indian sports. Bilquis will join a distinguished panel of jurors from various countries. Her selection is not only a personal achievement but also a moment of pride for Kashmir and India’s sports community.
Born in Khanyar, Srinagar, Bilquis began her journey in water sports at a young age, despite the challenges of the time. She represented Jammu and Kashmir between 1998 and 2006, winning more than 25 national-level medals. Bilquis Mir is not only a decorated athlete but also the first woman from Jammu and Kashmir to coach the National team. She achieved several milestones in Kayaking and Canoeing, including being the first Indian woman to participate in the ICF Sprint Racing World Cup in 2009. She also became the first Indian woman in Kayaking and Canoeing to be part of an international referee panel. Her dedication led to her appointment as the Chief Coach of the Women’s National Team for the 2012 Olympics in London and other coaching roles.
Bilquis Mir’s commitment to the sport extended internationally, as she conducted a strength and conditioning course in the UK at the University of Birmingham, becoming the first Indian woman in Kayaking and Canoeing to do so. She continued to contribute to the sport by serving as a judge for the Asian Canoe Federation during the 18th Asian Games Canoe Spirit in Indonesia in 2020. Bilquis Mir remains dedicated to promoting water sports in India, especially among girls, and hopes to identify talent across the country. She runs a water sports training center in Nehru Park, Srinagar, known as one of the best centers in the country, where approximately 200 students have received free training with top-notch equipment. Bilquis is committed to popularizing the sport in the valley and contributing to its growth.