Although Jammu & Kashmir did not make it to the business end of the sub-junior National volleyball championships held here, the players can take pride from the fact that they were able to compete in the ‘big league’.

Not having access to proper facilities can put off a lot of people, but not these youngsters. The hardships only make them more determined.

“We don’t have an exclusive volleyball facility. We train outdoors for almost two hours in the evenings,” said manager Toseef Azam, also known as Babbo Rajput.

Winters especially are a pain. “Most of the time, we have to first sweep off the snow and then start our training. This can be hazardous considering some water remains on the ground,” he said.

Only 22 and already part of the senior team, Babbo said he was happy to take care of the youngsters. “It is a good learning experience for the players, all of who are below the age of 17. It’s a big break for them. Some players like Shubham (lifter) are very good and have a bright future.”

In what looks like a big boost for the players from the State, Sports Hostel (Andhra Pradesh) and the Army have shown a keen interest to absorb some of the players. “It would be fantastic if it is finalised,” Babbo said.

With exciting things on the cards, the State is set to enter the ‘big league’, if not immediately, then certainly in the near future.

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