Tuesday October 22, 2019
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Kashmir’s para-cricketer with no arms an inspiration in cricket world

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Srinagar: South Kashmir resident Aamir Hussain, a mere 20 years old boy with his extraordinary ability to play cricket has people in Bijbehara perplexed. Aamir lost both his arms in a machine accident. The devoted Sachin Tendulkar fan devotes his success to the batting maestro.

Twelve years have passed since the accident. Now he is a cricketer playing for his state, batting, bowling and fielding with ease found in few among his able-bodied peers.

Aamir is a resident of Waghama village near Bijbhehar on the banks of the Jhelum river, which is part of the Kashmir Valley belt that specialises in making the famed Kashmir Willow bat.

Young boys here take to ball and bat at a young age, going out to the field whenever they find the opportunity.

Parvez Rasool- the first Jammu and Kashmir cricketer to find a place in the Indian national team, too hails from Bijbehara.

For Aamir, his dream of becoming a cricketer would have been cut short suddenly when he lost both his arms from the shoulders while playing near a bandsaw machine at a willow-cutting unit.

For Aamir’s parents – Bashir Ahmad Lone and Raja Begum – the accident was a huge shock. His father, a farm labour, sold almost his entire property to save his son, second among five siblings comprising four sons and a daughter.

Aamir remained restricted to a hospital bed for almost three years.

After the young boy got out, he learnt how to live life as a differently-abled person, with his doting grandmother assisting him at each step of the torturous rehabilitation process.

Aamir learnt to perform daily chores, so easy for a normal-bodied person, with his lower limbs. Slowly, but surely, he began picking up objects with his feet and, over a period of time, could lift a glass full of water to his lips, bathe and even comb his hair.

“It took me two years to learn to do all things by myself. Now I do them easily without anyone’s help,” Aamir told reporters.

He also learnt to hold a pen with his foot to write and paint with a brush.

“Initially, I found it very hard to write. But I had no other option. I wanted to prove myself,” Aamir said.

Despite hardships, Aamir again picked up his interrupted studies and cleared his class 10 and 12 examinations. He took each difficulty he faced in life as a challenge, even learning to swim after seeing how the ducks paddled.

Yet his dream of being a cricketer had not quite died down. He developed a unique style of holding the bat between his neck and shoulder, to effectively tackle the bowling. He also acquired another remarkable ability- to hold the red cherry in his toes and hurl it as a leg spin, swinging his foot from the hip.

As to fielding, he does it with aplomb, using his feet dexterously to stop the ball or catch it.

Because of his extraordinary bowling and batting skills, he was picked up for the Jammu and Kashmir para-cricket team in 2013 and soon appointed the captain of the squad.

The devastating floods of 2014 in the Kashmir Valley kept Aamir away from cricket for a year but the state team management did not allow him to remain away from the game for long.

Aamir skippered the state team at the 2015 interstate para-cricket tournament in Lucknow where his team won against Manipur. His performance was greatly appreciated at the tournament by everyone.

Having played in Jammu, Delhi and Lucknow, Aamir now has his sights set on foreign venues representing India at International Para-Cricket tournaments.

Aamir’s struggle for a normal life against all odds is the story of an extraordinary achievement which is likely to inspire several others in the state and elsewhere. (Aadil Mir, IANS)

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Playing Sports Linked with Lower Mental Health Issues: Study

The study analysed data from 10,951 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health)

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Mental Health
According to Study, those who reported that they did not intend to participate in Sports during age 8 to 14 were 22 per cent more likely to suffer Mental Health Issues in their late 20s and 30s. Pixabay

Adolescents who play contact sports, including football, are no more likely to experience cognitive impairment, depression or suicidal thoughts in early adulthood than their peers, says a new study.

Published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, study of nearly 11,000 youth followed for 14 years found that those who play sports are less likely to suffer from mental health issues by their late 20s to early 30s.

“There is a common perception that there’s a direct causal link between youth contact sports, head injuries and downstream adverse effects like impaired cognitive ability and mental health, we did not find that,” said study lead author Adam Bohr from University of Colorado Boulder.

The study analysed data from 10,951 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), a representative sample of youth in seventh through 12th grades who have been interviewed and tested repeatedly since 1994.

Participants were categorised into groups: those who, in 1994, said they intended to participate in contact sports; those who intended to play non-contact sports; and those who did not intend to play sports.

Among males, 26 per cent said they intended to play football.

Sports
There is a common perception that there’s a direct causal link between youth contact Sports, head injuries and downstream adverse effects like impaired cognitive ability and Mental Health. Pixabay

After controlling for socioeconomic status, education, race and other factors, the researchers analysed scores through 2008 on word and number recall and questionnaires asking whether participants had been diagnosed with depression or attempted or thoughts about suicide.

“We were unable to find any meaningful difference between individuals who participated in contact sports and those who participated in non-contact sports. Across the board, across all measures, they looked more or less the same later in life,” said Bohr.

Football players had a lower incidence of depression in early adulthood than other groups, said researchers.

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According to them, those who reported that they did not intend to participate in sports during age 8 to 14 were 22 per cent more likely to suffer depression in their late 20s and 30s. (IANS)