Gurjeet tides over Pak bullets to chase her dream of sailing

SHASHWAT GUPTA RAY
Wednesday, 29 January 2020

“Nobody has ever managed to come out of his or her village and make a mark for him or herself. I am the first person from my village to have come out and also win Gold medal in windsurfing here in Goa,” says National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadet Gurjeet Kour.

CHICALIM: Living under the shadow of bullets and mortars can rattle anyone, but not young Naval National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadet Gurjeet Kour.
Born in Ramgarh village of Samba district in Jammu, which is only 4 km away from Pakistan border, instead of getting affected by the violent atmosphere around her, Kour with her sheer determination has managed to come out of her village to chase her dream of making her village and country proud globally.
She has chosen sailing as her path to her goal and has already made an impact in this sport by winning the Best Cadet gold medal in Level 1 windsurfing at Indian Navy Watermanship Training Centre (INWTC), Chicalim, Goa last year.
“Nobody has ever managed to come out of his or her village and make a mark for him or herself. I am the first person from my village to have come out and also win Gold medal in windsurfing here in Goa,” Kour says.
When asked about the reason for choosing sailing as the medium to pursue her goal, the NCC cadet says she wanted to remove fear of water from her mind.
“I fear water and height. I wanted to remove these phobias from my psyche. In this endeavour, I took up sailing. But Jammu and Kashmir doesn’t have quality sailing facility,” she says.
Moreover there is only one sailing boat – Enterprise Dinghy, which is operated by two people, in sitting position.
“I wanted to sail solo in standing position, which is possible only in Bic Nova boats, available here at INWTC Goa,” the 20-year-old gold medallist cadet from 1 J&K Naval Unit NCC Srinagar says.
Thus began her quest for coming to Goa. She first got selected to represent J&K in Odisha for competition and then won herself a place for windsurfing championship in Goa.
Kour managed to rank amongst top six in the competition and booked herself a place for Level 1 training in windsurfing at the special yachting camp by NCC at INWTC in Chicalim, Goa. Here training is free of cost.
“I was keen to sail on Bic Nova and I started practicing on this boat. The centre Officer-in-Charge Commander Sher Pal Singh sir noticed me and encouraged me to enter the race. I won Gold medal at the hands of Minister of State for Defence and North Goa MP Shripad Naik sir,” she says.
She is again in Goa to compete in fourth ‘Open Navy Windsurfing championship 2020’ at INWTC (Goa).
Thanking her father Jasbir Singh, Kour says, “He has been my biggest supporter. Without him I am nothing.”
 

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