Box, Shoot and Wrestle: Women Athletes Battle For Recognition

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 12:55 Hrs
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BENGALURU: It is hard to showcase the skills of athletes in a cricket-friendly country like India, more so if you are a woman athlete. It is a universal fact that women athletes in India are least encouraged; half the country is even unaware of the achievements of these women. With the defeat of Indian Cricketers in semi-finals, Saina Nehwal’s world number one position news made the headlines. It is not that badminton is not followed in India, but it is often overshadowed by cricket.

Saina NehwalTimes of India, highlights the ace women athletes who bring pride to the nation in the global front. Also on the occasion of International women’s Day a show aired by Rupert Murdoch’s Star Sports, viewers are encouraged to “check-out” the skills and determination of these women shooters, hockey players and five-time world champion, Mary Kom.

Saina Nehwal, who was announced as the world champion in badminton, who is also the first woman in the country to reach that spot says that "It's difficult to play any other sport in a cricket-mad country, especially if you are a woman. But I'm glad mindsets are slowly changing. Girls have started saying that if boys can do it, girls can do it as well." This 25 year old athlete tipped the all time Chinese Champs and emerged as a new sporting hero.

She also joins the series on women sportsmen like Mary Kom and Sania Mirza by succeeding on a world stage. It is sad to see that the cricket stars in India are offered such eye-popping sums and are auctioned in crores during IPL, while on the other hand women still struggle for recognition in spite of their first class achievements.

Heena Sidhu, an Indian who was world’s number one pistol shooter in 2014 says, "In India you can't make a profession out of sport unless you are a cricketer.” She has since fallen to number 16 in the rankings.

However the trends have been changing as parents also encourage their daughters to take active part in sports. Thanks to these women who are now ideals to all the enthusiastic girls in India. Sports writer Prem Panicker said ‘gradual changes in attitudes have given rise to a generation of successful women on the sporting fields’.

Geeta Phogat, India’s first woman to qualify for the Olympics in 2012 says, “you can’t ignore woman anymore.”

Also Read: Rohit, Umesh Jump Up Places In Latest ICC ODI Rankings
Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth Lift India Open Super Series Titles

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