Mumbai Sep 25 : Shaheen Akhtar has achieved the historic milestone of being the first Indian woman to serve as an Officiating Referee (International Technical Official) at the 19th Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou, China.
Shaheen’s participation in the Asian Games as an Officiating Referee has coincided with her appointment as a member of the Technical Committee for the Asian Karate Federation (AKF). She is the first Indian to be appointed to the prestigious post.
Expressing her gratitude for the opportunity and the recognition, the Mumbai resident said, “I hope my journey will inspire the youth to take up Karate as a serious and viable career option. My knowledge, experience and expertise are always available to boost their career.
“India has tremendous untapped potential and many young champions waiting in the wings for their moment of glory. This recognition will further strengthen my resolve to dedicate my life to this sport,” she said.
A former national champion and an 8th Degree Black Belt, Shaheen is also the highest and most qualified WKF (World Karate Federation) and AKF (Asian Karate Federation) female Referee in India and South Asia.
She earlier represented India as an athlete at the Commonwealth Championships in Scotland in 2008 and also at the World Championship in Tokyo and is currently the seniormost woman karateka of the country.
Forty-five years of dedicated practice and sheer hard work have helped Shaheen build a phenomenal career that is probably unparalleled in Indian Karate. She was honoured with a bronze pin in October 2019, by WKF, during the World Championship in Chile, in recognition of her completing one decade as a referee with WKF.
From World Championships to Asian Championships, from Premier League to Youth League, Commonwealth Championships to South Asian Championships, Shaheen Akhtar has been there and done that in style, both as an athlete, as well as a referee.
As an outstanding athlete, she has won the state title for six consecutive years and the national crown for four consecutive years.
Her significant contribution as erstwhile member of the WKF Women’s Sports Commission has been appreciated by one and all