India’s first international woman hockey referee Anupama dies of coronavirus

Sports News, Karnataka, Madikeri, April 19:-India’s first-ever international woman hockey referee Anupama Puchimanda passed away due to the Covid here on Sunday (April 18).

Born on July 8, 1980, Anupama was a native of Bethu village in Napoklu, Kodagu.

As referee Anupama had officiated in 88 international hockey matches including World Junior Hockey, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games.

She started her career as an international hockey umpire in 2004 and was the first woman referee from India to officiate in international hockey matches. She was selected by the International Hockey Federation as one of the youngest umpires among ten men and women in the world.

Anupama as an umpire officiated the first Takamadonomiya four-nation International hockey tournament held in Japan, the junior Asia Cup held in Hyderabad (India) 2004, East Asian Games held in Macaw 2005, junior World Cup held in Chile, Santiago 2005, six-nation international tournament held in Korea in 2005, the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia 2006 and various other national and international matches.

She represented Karnataka as a player in the sub-junior and senior women’s national hockey championships. She had also represented the Mangalore University as a player consecutively for two years at the all India Inter-university hockey championship. She was awarded the best all-rounder in the academic year 2002-2003.

For her remarkable achievements, she was honoured with the title of Best Umpire (Women) India by Sardar Gain Singh Memorial Hockey Society in New Delhi in 2007, and Namma Bengaluru Award Sportsperson in February 2011, among others.

Expressing Hockey India’s (HI) condolences to the bereaved family, its President Gyanendro Ningombam said: “This (Sunday) morning we woke up to the very sad news about Anupama Punchimanda’s demise in Bengaluru.

“She was one of the first few women in India to umpire at very reputed international tournaments. We at Hockey India share the grief of her family and friends and we extend our deepest condolences to Anupama’s family members.”

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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