Zainab Barkat — Pakistan’s Wheelchair-Bound Table Tennis Champion Is A Force To Reckon With

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Zainab Barkat table tennis
Image source: Twitter

Zainab Barkat was crippled by polio at the mere age of one, but she defeated her disability to become a table tennis champion in Pakistan.

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That’s not all, she also has the honor of being Pakistan’s first woman tennis player in the wheelchair category, who has played internationally as well.

Barkat has participated in many national level championships, and as a result of that, she has garnered 20 medals and 16 winner trophies.

She always wanted to make a name for herself, even though she was well aware of the limitations of being a woman in a country like Pakistan, and that, too, a paraplegic.

Only sister to four brothers, Barkat, who hails from Peshawar, was pretty mummy-daddy (as she likes to call herself) growing up. However, she had her aha moment, when she lost her father seven years ago. Zainab knew she had to turn life around as she had had enough of being a pampered kid.

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I saw differently abled men do so much for themselves, playing different sports, she said, adding, I thought to myself if boys can do it, then the girls can do it, too.

While exploring different sports to pursue, Barkat came across table tennis, and that is when it struck her that this is one game that she can actively pursue.

Zainab Barkat wanted to play table tennis to not only get recognized but also to motivate other women to come forward and get inspired by her. She said there were many who were driven by her strength to professionally take up the sport, and that swells her heart with pride.

She is definitely a force to be reckoned with and an example for everyone who give up too soon to life’s challenges.

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