Srinagar, April 23 : Many Kashmiri girls, who have been generally conservative, are getting attracted to Rugby, a predominantly male sport. And, they play it with equal vigour.
Not surprisingly, most of these girls now wish to take up Rugby as a full-fledged career instead of playing it as just another sport.
Initially, these girls enjoyed the oval shaped Rugby ball for mere fun and chilling out with friends. But the trend is changing with the passage of time.
The popularity can be understood from the series of Rugby matches and other tournaments being hosted in Srinagar.
Today, one can find a good number of young Kashmiri girls toning up their grit, patience and athletic capabilities to perform well.
Shedding their traditional dress for a pair of shorts and T-shirts, these enthusiastic girls in Srinagar, duck and tackle as they play the rough and tough game of rugby.
Over 40 teams from various schools of Srinagar are participating in the championship and ten of them are exclusively of girls.
"We are holding this tournament for the fourth time here. The best teams would be further selected to participate at the State level and it's a good game," said Iqbal Hussein, organiser of the Rugby tourney.
"I really like this game. It's unique to play and is so much fun. Girls always want to do something different from boys and this provides us with just the same. That's why girls are so crazy about this game," said Muzamil Sayed, one rugby player.
"Although this game is supposed to be for men but of late girls have been trying their hands at this and its good to be playing it," said Insha, another rugby player.
The championship will last for five more days here. The selected team would represent Kashmir at the state level championships.
Parents now have no reservation to send their children to participate in rugby tournaments. Many schools are patronizing the game.
"Rugby is a good game. Our people are open-minded. They welcome everything that is good and clean. Rugby is good for boys but they are equally good for girls," said Sarmand Hafez, Joint Director Tourism and a promoter of rugby game.
Presently, there are around 1,000 boys and girls who learn and play this robust game.