More than 200 athletes from 12 districts of Jammu and Kashmir took part in the J-K Summer Ice-Stock championship organized by the J&K Ice Stock Association and J&K Sports Council.The participants came from across the Union Territory for the event, which was organised under the ‘My Youth, My Pride’ initiative, and competed in various categories, including team games, target games, distance, and individual targets.
The sport-ice stock is traditionally played on an ice surface, but to increase its reach to other parts of the globe, the championship is also held on concrete surfaces during the summers. Earlier, it was confined only to Germany, Austria, and Italy. The players take part in the sport with great enthusiasm while preparing themselves for the winter championships that are played on snow. One of the players at the event, Ubaid Khan, called the sport a game of balance.
“This is the game of balance wherein your neuro-muscular coordination is seen…the person who excels in this game is known to have all these components of a person’s ability to balance and coordinate,” Ubaid Khan told the press. Another player called it a great platform to showcase their skills. “This is a state-level championship, and hence is a great platform for us to present our state. After qualifying from here, we can go for nationals and internationals as well. So, it’s a very great thing for us,” Saleeka Tariq said, adding that the event is very beneficial to the players as it keeps them physically and mentally fit.
Meanwhile, Irfan Aziz Botta, the event’s coach and co-organizer, informed us that the sport has recently made its way into the recently held 2020 Olympic games. “We have gathered here today for the summer version of the J & K Ice Stock Championship. It has recently been confirmed in the recently held 2020 Olympic games that since the sportspersons cannot stay idle for nine months, the federation created a summer version as winter is far away and stays only for a period of three months,” Botta said.