ISLAMABAD: “I owe a lot to my friends, teachers and especially my mother, who takes me to my two-hour trainings twice a day,” said 13-year-old Hoor Israr Rauf, who has been swimming since she was six-years-old. Hoor, a local heroine in Islamabad for having won various national swimming competitions, is a 9th grade student who feels that swimming needs to be encouraged in the country. Over the past seven years, she has won various national swimming competitions and also participated in a few international ones. She recently participated in Senior Nationals swimming competition in Lahore and won two individual gold medals for 50- and 200-metre breast stroke, another two gold medals for relay and water polo, and a silver medal for 100-metre breast stroke.
In 2009, she was amongst the five girls chosen to go to Bangladesh for SAF Games. She was amongst the four girls selected to represent Pakistan in the third Commonwealth Youth Games held at India in 2008, where swimmers from 70 countries participated. In 2007, Hoor was the youngest participant in an international swimming competition held at the sports complex in Islamabad. “When people twice my age participate in these competitions, it is more satisfying to win,” said Hoor.
Hoor learnt swimming in her school with the help of two school coaches. She was also trained by an Australian coach Steven who was so impressed with her swimming skills that he used to call her “pocket rocket”. With consistent training, her skills have improved over the years. Now, she has big dreams and aspires to represent Pakistan in the 2012 World Olympics.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2010.
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