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The first woman soccer coach and referee from Kashmir, Nadiya Nighat talks about her passion for the football game. Nighat is a coach from Jammu and Kashmir, who breaks a stereotypical mindset and proves that a girl can excel in any field.

Being a girl child, the 20-year-old from Kashmir’s Srinagar had to face a lot of criticism for choosing an unconventional career.

Speaking to IndiaKhelega, Nadiya talks about her journey during the tough situations she faced in Kashmir Valley. She also expressed her views about the IndiaKhelega platform initiative and much more.

How was your family support with you?

When I started playing initially, my parents didn’t support me. They used to think that I will not achieve anything in future with this game.

At that time my parents’ support was very less with me. Now as I have achieved a good level, so my parents support is with me in a good way.

When asked about her motivation in life?

Someone who wants to play any sport needs no motivation. Like we get motivate by following our seniors. Similarly, I get motivate by the ongoing ISL also.

When asked about the issues faced because of the sports love?

In starting my parents didn’t like me to play with the boys. Sometimes my parents were not aware of the fact that I was going out for playing the sport. They were afraid of society, as I was playing with the boys.

So I got a boy cut so that I could look like boys.

How do you see sports in general in India?

I feel people are more focused in Football than Cricket. And not only boys, girls are also coming forward. For instance, in Haryana, where I play Football, around 230 girls come to play Football on a single ground.

When asked her views on Sports & Youth

Earlier, I used to think that woman Football will not go further in India. But now I think it will go further for sure.  I have been to Mumbai, Delhi, Kashmir, and Haryana. In Haryana also, many young players are coming forward. It is creating a great impact that youth is interested in sports.

Who is your Role Model?

My role model is Ronaldo. Apart from Ronaldo, there are other players from Kashmir, whom I consider as my role models.

What do you think about IndiaKhelega platform?

IndiaKhelega is a great initiative for all the young coaches and their fans as well to register themselves. It is a good platform to showcase your own talent. I recommend every coach and young players to download the app, register themselves on IndiaKhelega and forward their views.

On being asked about the importance of a sport in a player’s life.

Sport keeps a person fit and away from bad habits like drugs, smoking, etc.

What do you think about the importance of a coach in a player’s life?

Justlike a small kid should be taught how to take small steps initially. Similarly,in sports, even a coach needs someone to coach him/her. I also need a coach to guide me properly to show the right path, improve the lacking points and correct my techniques. So, a coach plays an important role in a player’s life.

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