Ayesha Ayaz, a student of class 4 from Swat in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, has become Pakistan’s youngest female athlete to win a gold medal in Taekwondo. The nine-year-old won her latest laurels in the sport at Dubai’s 8th Fujairah Open Taekwondo Championship.
Ayesha has been practicing the Korean martial art since the age of 3 – having already won multiple titles at the district and provincial levels. She has been a national-level Taekwondo champion three times now. Swat’s Taekwondo prodigy comes from a family of practitioners of the sport. Her two younger brothers Zaryab and Zaib Khan have each won honours up to the national level. Her father, Ayaz Naik, is himself a Taekwondo practitioner and teacher, who runs his own academy that imparts training in the martial art.
The sport that’s given more recognition in Pakistan is without a doubt cricket. All other sports are fairly unknown. However, that should be the case. There are kids like Ayesha who’re competing internationally and winning. And they need to get the same recognition and grandeur as a cricket team when they win. Otherwise, there isn’t much reason for people to pursue other sports when their efforts won’t be recognised.