Afreen Hyder: Kicking Her Way To Success

SRINAGAR — There is something about Afreen Hyder that tells she belongs to a different league. Supremely fit, strongly confident and equally talented, Afreen looks like a girl on a mission: to create a niche for herself in the world of Taekwondo.

Her career might be into its infancy, she has already shown glimpse what she can achieve in the ring. A bundle of international and national medals in her kitty, Afreen looks all set to make it big, for she has all the requisite ingredients to achieve success. Natural talent, hardworking and will to succeed are few hallmarks of Afreen’s journey to the top.

Afreen has defied adversities-amateurism, social pressures and lack of support from government- to set herself on a professional path, having already four international and eighteen national medals to her name.

She isn’t done yet, though. Her real journey, she says, starts now as former DPS Srinagar student aims to enter into world rankings.

“I am working hard to achieve bigger things in Taekwondo. I am eyeing entry into world rankings by the end of year and if all goes well, I aim to participate in the Olympics in the future,” Afreen told Kashmir Observer.

A resident of Hamdania Colony Bemina, Afreen fell in love with martial arts at an early age. Love and passion for the sport changed into something substantial when she met ace coach Atul Pangotra. Her encounter with Atul changed the way she looked at the sport.

Atul, she says, made her train hard.

“At times I would think Atul sir is my enemy. He makes me train harder and harder. Earlier it was difficult but he would keep encouraging. Under his watchful eyes I became a better player. I am reaping benefits of that rigorous training these days,” she says.

She says Atul has helped her become a better and all-round player.

The hard yards put in early stages of life have translated into medals.

“Obviously hard work pays off. You need to be prepared for hard times as a sportperson and don’t get bogged down when things aren’t going your way. I am a kind of a person who doesn’t get deflated by the loss. Infact I put in more efforts to make sure I don’t suffer loss next time,” she said.

A bright start to the career early in the piece spurred Afreen up and there was no looking back once she established herself as a seasoned player.

Fitness is Afreen’s strong suit.

“I am very particular about the fitness. I plan my diet quite professionally. I don’t take junk food,” she said.

A selection into MP Academy Bhopal gives 18-year Afreen an opportunity to learn from the best and make right moves to realize her ambitions.

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