Wrestling competitions generally evoke images of muscular men, but judging by their numbers at the Mysore Dasara wrestling competition, women have clearly arrived in the arena. More than 150 women participated in the Nada Kushti (traditional wrestling), State-level and national-level wrestling competitions, which were held at the D. Devaraj Urs multi-purpose stadium at Doddakere Maidan in the city from September 27.
“A record 83 entries were received for the national-level wrestling championship for women, while for the State-level competition and Nada Kushti, there were 61 and 10 women participants respectively,” said C. Puttaswamy, president of the Mysore Dasara Wrestling sub-committee.
Female participation in the Dasara wrestling competitions has been increasing gradually with each passing year, from the mere 40 to 45, who had turned up for the event in 2006 when it was introduced. More than 150 women participated this year.
Wrestling coach Satish said that women wrestlers from Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Kerala were participating in the national wrestling competition.
“The popularity of wrestling among women has increased with media focus on them in international events like Olympics,” he said.
Ramya (22), who has been participating in the Dasara wrestling competition since 2007, said she took to wrestling because of encouragement from her father Ravi Kumar, an agriculturist. “Earlier, I enjoyed playing Kabaddi. My father said I should take to wrestling as I would have only one opponent instead of the seven or eight in Kabaddi,” she said.
Ramya, a native of Melapura in Mandya district, who is now pursuing her Master’s degree in Physical Education (M.P.Ed.) from Mangalore University, said she took to wrestling soon after completing her PUC and joining B.Com.