Shah Imran Hassan, New Delhi
Kabra Altaf, 22 from Srinagar, is a national Judo player who began her journey with all trek to the Zabarwan hill overlooking Dal Lake at the age of five.
It was her first big step into the arena of sports and she never had to look back.
Her father was into martial arts and he encouraged Ibra. She rates her “father's guidance as to the most effective tool in making her an athlete.”
"He always talked to me about the positive aspects of the game," she said. Over the years, Ibra Altaf, a resident of the Nishat area, started to understand the ‘power of “sportsmanship.’
When he began training, she had no idea about the sports of Judo. However, she started participating in all the sports activities in her school.
Ibra Altaf during her practise session
She was soon introduced to mountaineering, skiing, and Judo and gradually to one of the best athletes in Judo.
She also started her journey as a skier. "I completed the course in 2009 from the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Sonmarg," says Ibra Altaf.
Ibra has won many awards. including two silver medals in the national skiing competition, the Gondola Cup medal and various state awards, as well as the Open Gulmarg Cup medal.
She was selected for the International Skiing Championships though, for some reason, she could not take part in it.
Shortly afterward, Ibra became interested in Judo, as her father had taught her many judo techniques in the early days. She chose to pursue the sports of Judo over other sports. She started getting trained by coach Shafqat Shafi in Srinagar stadium. Besides, she also started practicing with her father.
After three months of judo training, she is now ready to take part in the national championship. She has also received training at Bhopal Academy. Her hard work and passion took her to the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.
She says she is happy, "Luckily, I had the opportunity to practice judo at NIS for two-and-a-half years."
One day she injured herself in her knee and had to undergo knee surgery. While she was bedridden for 18 months, Ibra was thinking of sports and winning her game.
Abra Altaf delivering a speech
"Negative thoughts did visit my mind," she says. “But I decided to overcome my challenges and show to the world my best.” In 2017, Ibra started practicing judo again.
In the same year, she won a gold medal at the 62nd National School Games Federation of India in New Delhi Winning a gold medal was like finding a hidden treasure. She has so far competed in three or four more national competitions.
She was even selected for the Inspire Institute of Sports in Bangalore, where she stayed for a year-and-a-half, and eventually won a gold medal in a national competition. Ibra was representing Kashmir everywhere.
She also won a medal in the 63rd weight category an many awards for Jammu and Kashmir. However, when she won a bronze medal in the 78th weight category.
She was also selected as one of the four national players for the trials of the 2020 Commonwealth Championships.