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First Female football coach of Kashmir: Nadiya Nighat.

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Nadiya Night from Rambagh, Srinagar is Kashmir’s first female football coach. She is the head coach for Lonestar Kashmir Fc Women’s wing and also serves as assistant coach for the senior boys team of the same
club. These achievements alone make her a remarkable girl when it comes to this male dominated sport.

Her football journey began way in 2007 when she went to Amar Singh college and saw a few boys kicking the ball around. That moment seized her and she started showing an interest in the game. In her area boys used to practice football and Nadiya decided to join them. Despite facing early opposition even from her parents, she continued playing with them.

Slowly her parents. seeing her passion for the game and dedication to continue in face of strict opposition, began supporting her. Voices of dissent from the surroundings were ignored and she kept playing football.

Her big moment arrived early when she went on to play in under 19 School National tournament in Jammu in 2010. It was there she began to dream big. In 2014 she participated in a grass root course with All India Football Federation. In this course she learned how to train small age groups of 12-15 year old’s. This was to be the motivation behind her next big step.

The trailblazer female footballer would then set up her on academy ‘JJ7‘ in 2014, inspired by her favourite footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

She achieved further success gaining a continental license for coaching, the AFC D license.(Asian Football Confederation) in 2015.

Since then Nadiya has kept moving forward and has achieved one milestone after another. She played in various national level tournaments for girls and worked as Head Coach for many teams outside Kashmir.

Her breakthrough moment in the valley came when one of the biggest clubs in Kashmir, LoneStar Kashmir FC appointed her as head coach of their Women’s Wing in 2021. But a more significant moment came when she was made assistant coach of the club’s senior boys team. This was a truly ground breaking achievement, the likes of which are rarely found in the subcontinent, let alone Kashmir.

She realises how tough it was for her breaking into a sport where presumably only boys could play. So with her academy she is hoping to change that perception. Right now her academy boasts over 40 kids aspiring to become good footballers. Although her academy has faced a few challenges mainly due to some financial constraints that hasn’t dampened her enthusiam. Nadiya continues her dream of training young football players in the valley
now that she works at club level and hopes to see them perform at national and international level.

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