Geeta Phogat is a female wrestler from India who won India’s first ever gold medal in women’s wrestling in the 55kg freestyle category at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She is coached by her father and former wrestler, Mahavir Singh. She had earlier won gold in the 2009 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship. She qualified for the 2012 London Olympics but could not win a medal. Phogat has also won a gold medal in the Wrestling FILA Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament that concluded at Almaty, Kazakhstan in April 2012. She has numerous other international medals to her credit, including three consecutive medals in the Asian Cadet Championships in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In the Summer Olympics 2012, Geeta was beaten in her opening fight by Canadian Tonya Verbeek (1-3). In the repechage round, she lost her bronze medal match to Lazareva from Ukraine. She has been conferred with the Arjuna Award for outstanding achievement in National sports in 2012.

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Hard to imagine she is the icon of women wrestling. She is a picture of concentration. A star was born six years ago but she has remained grounded. Success has not at all spoilt the young lady’s resolve to reach out to the female wrestling fraternity, rope in more and more competitors and popularise the sport even in metros.

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.

“Why should women’s wrestling be confined to rural areas?” asks Geeta, who was raised in rustic surroundings in Haryana’s Bhiwani district. Her father was a wrestler and dreamt of pushing his daughters into the competitive world by training them to fight in mud pits. “He was more excited than us. He had the required knowledge to train and groom us. We had the passion too,” she recalls.

 

There was opposition to the Phogat sisters taking to wrestling. In Haryana it can be hard to convince people. “We had to wrestle against boys because there were no girls to train with,” she remembers. That was unthinkable. A taboo in her society. “We could not have escaped training because the akhara (pit) was at home. There was a lot of physical work, push ups, endurance training. We had to match the strength of the boys (my cousins). What if I was a girl? There was no respite, no excuse, no running away from the hard work.”

The senior Phogat (Mahavir Singh) was ridiculed and criticized for asking the girls to seek a career in wrestling. But the man had vision and was least worried when elders warned him his daughters would not find grooms. He backed the girls. “We had our hair cut and wore shorts during training. People would tell me who would marry you. Your ears would be disfigured from wrestling. It is a men’s sport. But I looked at my father and did not back out. I had to wrestle for him. I had to win for him. I was not a born wrestler. But I feared my father.”

The face of women’s wrestling in India, Geeta, 27, loves her father for shaping her career. “I may have studied a bit but had I not been a wrestler I would have been married four years ago. That is how things are with girls in our society. Things have looked better in recent times but there is a lot to be done for girls, especially in my state.”

BFY provides training for Personal Trainers and courses in Sports nutrition and Diet in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Dehradun, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gurgaon.

BFY also provides Placements Services in India.