Ranchi, July 2
15 year old Chanchala Kumari, the first ever wrestler from Jharkhand representing Indian Team in the upcoming World Wrestling Championship at Budapest, Hungary in sub-junior 40 kg category or any international meet is inspired by Wrestler Vinesh Phogat. The ninth standard adolescent hailing from an underprivileged rural tribal family of Ormanjhi never heard of the sport she is into before being selected by Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society (JSSPS) in 2016. In a recent interview with Asian News Service, she spoke on how wrestling transformed her life in past five years. Excerpts:
How did your journey with wrestling begin?
None from my family including parents and three siblings are from sports background. I came here to try my luck in any of the sports under JSSPS in Mega Sports Complex, Hotwar and fortunately got through wrestling. It was then I learned what the sport is and how it can turn to a bright career. Candidates selected by JSSPS are provided schooling as well as sports training.
What is the difference between the ambiance of JSSPS and home?
My father is hardly able to feed us regularly as he has the educational responsibility of my three siblings. Here it is not the same. Wrestlers need to maintain a fine balance between proper diet and rest for better performance.
How did the lockdown affect you?
In virtual classes, we were able to undergo routine practice through the tablets sponsored by JSSPS at our home but were devoid of mat and wrestling shoes used in GanpatRai Stadium, Mega Sports Complex in Hotwar as it wasn’t possible to perform with both at home. Running shoes were used as an alternative. Coaches on the other side were restricted to physical training because conditioning and fighting with a partner on mat wearing wrestling shoes were not possible.
What have you learnt from the wrestlers of other states?
Based on the national camps and tournaments, I visited around four states wherein it was observed that Haryana, Punjab and Delhi players have good physique and maintain a healthy diet. Moreover, the government’s efforts had always been noteworthy. But, in our state, it is now that wrestling is developing with the support of state government. Coaches often tell that they never got the facilities like us in their initial career phase.
Who is your inspiration?
It is Arjuna awardee Vinesh Phogat who will be representing India in Tokyo Olympics.