International Women’s Day Tomorrow: Women Who Made A Big Difference To Sports Coaching

International Women’s Day Tomorrow: Women Who Made A Big Difference To Sports Coaching

Kamla Rawat, an international judo coach and deputy superintendent of police in Madhya Pradesh, she is recipient of Vishwamitra Award and Vikram Award.

Rishita TomarUpdated: Thursday, March 07, 2024, 02:00 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): As we look forward to celebrating International Women’s Day, it’s necessary to know about women who not only excelled as players but are equally successful coaches. Free Press spoke to three of them. Excerpts

Sarika Gupta: Coached 200 int’l medallists

Sarika Gupta is a coach of Indian Wushu team and secretary of MP Wushu Association. Her students include 200 international medallists, many of whom are in government jobs.

“I started playing sports in Class 9. My father told me to give my 70% to studies and rest to sports. I excelled in karate and academics. In 1999, marriage and motherhood added challenges,” she said.

In 2002, she switched to Wushu. “As I was unable to attend training camps, I turned to coaching in 2004. By 2006, I began coaching Indian team. I received Vishwamitra Award in 2009”, said Sarika.

Kamla Rawat: DSP & judo coach who won 27 gold medals

Kamla Rawat, an international judo coach and deputy superintendent of police in Madhya Pradesh, she is recipient of Vishwamitra Award and Vikram Award. Kamla won 27 gold medals at national and international games. She represented Indian judo team 45 times at the international level. She served as chief coach of Indian judo team from 2009 to 2013. Under her leadership, the Indian judo team won 2010 Commonwealth Judo Championship in Singapore where women athletes won nine gold medals.

“I faced struggles due to lack of resources. I used to go for practice by bicycle and would return home late at night. A few people in my neighbourhood told my parents that they shouldn’t allow girls to come this late at night as it was unsafe. But I never stopped. When I started winning medals at international level, neighbours came to my house to see the medals I won,” she said.

Fatima Bano, wrestling coach & Vikram awardee

Fatima Bano, the chief coach of MP Academy, holds distinction of being India's first woman gold medallist in 68-kg wrestling category. She was first woman Vikram Awardee in wrestling from Madhya Pradesh. Reflecting on her journey, Fatima recalled the challenges she faced in 1997 when wrestling was a male-dominated sport. Initially hesitant to inform her parents about her pursuit, she surprised them with national gold medal win. Earlier, she excelled in judo, winning 14 medals. Thus, she showcased her versatility and determination in both disciplines.

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