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Kashmir boy proposes football trick shots as a gateway to a safer future

Kashmir boy proposes football trick shots as a gateway to a safer future

Sohinee Basu

Published: 3 May 2019 4:49 AM GMT
Set against the excruciatingly volatile political climate that constantly overshadows the state of Jammu and Kashmir, it takes a lump-sum amount of grit and passion to breathe dreams into the fractured reality. Perhaps this is precisely what has been instilled inside the mind of Shah Huzaib, a 17-year-old boy from Budgam district of Kashmir. Having to grow up in a state that only knows the face of turmoil too well and peace still remains an occasional guest who does not call often, the young Huzaib, steeled his nerves and toughened his spirits to give life to a dream and embark on a mission to enlarge its presence on a national scale which will hopefully enable in reorienting the people of his country to a safer and less fragile future. Shah Huzaib, has always nursed a soft corner for sports and found himself excelling at it from an early age. In an exclusive interview with
The Bridge
, Shah confessed, "Right from my childhood, I've always been interested in sports and I hope to stay in this field in the future," revealing further that his love affair with sports began with cricket where he discovered his natural talent for it early-on. However, Shah was soon eyeing a different sport - a game which would become a stepping stone towards his hitherto unheralded dream. "Later, I started getting attracted to football and realized the beauty of the game. Yet again, I was good at it and slowly I came across Huzaif Shah's videos on football trick shots," he tells us and emphasizes how this chance stumbling upon the videos became a life-changing event for the young Kashmiri boy. Huzaif Shah, also a resident of the Kashmir Valley and it's first famed trick shot artist who had participated in the Cristiano Ronaldo Fragrances organized global trick shot competition where he had emerged as the fourth runner-up in the world-scale event. Shah Huzaib, who came across the viral videos of his fellow Kashmiri trick shot artist, found himself instantly allured by them and gradually grew inspired enough to start practicing the tricks.
Also Read: For us, sport is how we save lives in Kashmir
It was in the month of May, 2018 when Shah Huzaib began his journey with trick shots, whilst he was a student in the tenth standard. Today, his passion for trick shots has only emboldened his dreams to imagine a future where his trick shots would attract people on a national scale and inspire them to imbibe this in their lives. With the firm support of his family and friends who encouraged him to make videos and utilize the platform of social media, he began to propagate his talent and make it available for viewing to the masses. https://www.instagram.com/p/BvwnXQ-gxaR/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link His tireless work soon began getting recognition from the local media and that in turn, fuelled his desire to take his talent to continuously higher pedestals as he committed to shooting tricks of the advanced level. The Kashmiri boy's tricks would often see him shooting the ball into a bin strategically, knocking a bottle off someone’s head (while reading a book) in true William Tell-ish fashion or aiming the ball to a perfect landing on a scooter with ease. Possessing an incredible talent for hand-eye coordination, Shah would often perform tricks without looking at the target, which would be behind him. Huzaib, began dedicating his time and efforts into making these videos and honing his talent. With 111 posts on his
and 1834 followers in barely a year's time, Shah has decided to religiously follow a 'time-table' to ensure he can post videos twice or thrice during the week, especially the weekends. They youngster reflects, "You see, there is a lot of talent in Kashmir and everywhere else. Many people do freestyle tricks. But the real lack all of them face is when they do not find anyone to shape this talent and help channelize it in the right direction due to the absence of mentors," and expresses his desire to hopefully, take willing people under his wing to teach them the tricks. In a country as diverse as India, there is talent lurking at every bend and Huzaib knows that too well. Being only the second football trick shot artist from Kashmir, he dreams of a bright future for this form of sporting activity.
"If my talent gets the proper kind of exposure and my tricks help inspire people to try and master them, I'll be all too willing to mentor them,"
Huzaib explains humbly. He hopes that with due support from the Jammu and Kashmir government and sponsorships and grants, trick football can have a bright future to the point that it can be accommodated as a professional category in itself. The budding trick shot artist reckons, "The first step towards mastering the football tricks is to get really good at juggling. When it comes to football, juggling forms an integral part. It ensures that you have control over the ball and can balance it with finesse and poise. That is Step 1 in the rulebook for learning football tricks,"
and firmly advises this to the interested individuals. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvo0t2jlqMR/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link In the politically unstable backdrop of Kashmir, where the youth is getting mobilized and imbibed into 'stone-pelting', it becomes extremely problematic for safer and healthier activities like trick shots to get ready space. It is a fact of yore that Kashmiri youths would often resort to stone pelting as a mark of violent protest. However, the Budgam resident, Shah Huzaib is particularly distressed at the partial exponential growth of stone pelting and recognizes its perils.
"In Kashmir, most of the youth are joining the tribe of stone pelting and honestly, there is no peaceful future for it. I strongly admonish it and wish people would take to trick shots, which is safer and promises a bright future,"
Shah points out. To give Shah Huzaib's dream flight, he needs support from the government authorities and sponsorships that would fund him to reach out and give further shape to his dream. With the strong will to a belief that trick shots have a viable future and every individual can master them given they have a passion and an intent to harness it in the correct direction, Shah continues his journey to national exposure of his talent that would inspire the concerned mass. Lastly, in this potent dreaming of adopting trick shots as an alternative to stone pelting, which banks on similar raw talents to achieve fruition, Shah Huzaib is heralding a loud and clear clarion call to a farewell to arms.
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