Female wrestling referees aspire to officiate in Olympic Games

Santosh Sharma barely blinked her eyes as she made note of every moves made by the wrestlers on the mat.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:May 14, 2013 12:53 am

Santosh Sharma barely blinked her eyes as she made note of every moves made by the wrestlers on the mat. A slight decrease in concentration means the outcome of the bout would not be fair,for a grappler could miss out on a point that could have helped him win. So,despite the vocal crowd screaming at the top of their lungs,Santosh,from Haryana,maintained her concentration. A nod of appreciation from the fellow technical support staff showed she had fared well. In the 32nd boys Freestyle and Greco-Roman and 15th girls Junior National wrestling championship,that came to an end on Sunday at Skating Rink in Sector 10,Santosh was not the only female member of the technical support staff that took care of the proceedings of the bouts and made sure the final decisions were just. Along with her were Kulwinder Kaur of Chandigarh and Anjna Sharma of Rajasthan. Following a rather successful career in their playing days,these three took exams and qualified from NIS Patiala. Now,the three have taken up the assignment of supervising bouts.

“The job of a referee during the bouts is always challenging. We have to mentally prepare ourselves to overcome any pressure from the officials and supporters of the wrestlers. We prepare ourselves to be fair but firm in our decision. We cannot afford to relax even for a fraction of a second during the bout,” said Kulwinder. “I feel proud and honoured to supervise the bouts,but I also enjoy the assignment. It is always a challenging job and I continuously update my knowledge about the technical aspects of refereeing,” Kulwinder,national gold medalist and former international wrestler who had done her NIS Diploma in 2004-5,said. Kulwinder also stood as referee during bouts at the state and national level tournaments in 2005. Anjna took to referring a year later than Kulwinder. A former national gold medalist,Anjna says she is improving all the time: With every bout I supervise,I gain more confidence and experience,” said the NSNIS Diploma holder.

Santosh,on the other hand,gets first-hand information and knowledge about referring from senior officials. I am always in touch with technical officials to know and to master the new rules and regulations. I am looking forward to get a chance to supervise bouts in Asiad and Olympics and other FILA recognised international tournaments,” said Santosh,who competed in wrestling tournaments almost a decade ago.

“I am grooming myself to professionally work as a referee at state,national and international level. Though I am new to this assignment,I am so happy to do this job,” she added. Confident to make it big in this field,these three just don’t want to limit themselves to the national tournaments. “Our aim is to supervise bouts in Asian Games,Olympic Games and other tournaments organised by International Wrestling Federation (FILA). We are gld that we have the support of our family members and wrestling associations of our respective states and also the Wrestling Federation of India. If not for them,we would have never thought of taking to this field,” shared Kulwinder.

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