9-year-old from Budgam wins Gold in National Pencak Silat Championship

Marouf Aijaz, a nine-year-old boy from central Kashmir’s Waterwani village of Budgam district has won the gold medal in the tenth National Pencak Silat Championship 2022-23 at Maharashtra in the 30-35 Pre-Teen weight Category.

The event was held at Swami Ramanand Teerth Maharashtra University, Maharashtra.

Marouf was avid to be a professional Cricketer. He was influenced by his uncle to participate in Pencak Silat Martial Arts.

“I was passionate about cricket, but given my abilities, my uncle introduced me to Pencak Silat Martial Arts,” Marouf said. “It was my maiden attempt at national level and thanks to Almighty I won the gold medal.”

Marouf had been practising for the event for the last eight months at Indoor Stadium Budgam. “Due to the dearth of public transport, I had to travel 2 to 3 miles to reach the stadium, every day,” he said. “It is a self-defense art and one should learn it.”

He said: “I regularly practice from 3 pm to 5 pm at the stadium that is four kilometers away from my home.”

Marouf said that his mentor ‘Asif Sir’, trained him very nicely. “I am passionate to play Olympics to represent India at the International level to win Gold there,” he said.

Marouf has won multiple awards at the district as well as Union Territory (UT) Level.

Initially, Marouf played at different school competitions followed by District and UT level, and finally, it is Indoor Stadium Srinagar where he made his entry to enter Nationals.

“Every child has some or the other talent. The onus lies on the parents to identify the hidden talent of their children and allow them to play any sort of game they wish to play,” said Marouf’s maternal uncle Altaf Hussain. “My dream is to see my child playing Olympics and winning Gold for the Country.”