Referees Phurki and Reshme make mentor Chamchuk Lama proud

Gangtok, 10 Apr:

“It was my dream to see Phurki Lhamu and Reshme make it to the list of top women referees of the country. After six years of rigorous training and hard work, they have achieved the status that I had dreamt for them and I feel very proud today. They had enrolled as Category-5 referees in the month of Jan 2012,” said former international referee, Chamchuk Lama, who has been a mentor to Sikkimese women referees, Phurki Lhamu Bhutia and Reshme Chettri.

Phurki Lhamu and Reshme have passed the All India Football Federation Category-2 Referees’ examination. They are now full-fledged national referees recognised by AIFF and Asian Football Confederation

Speaking to SummitTimes, their mentor, Mr Lama, said, “Refereeing has always been my passion. In my career as a referee, I have seen my referees being humiliated by football players at many instances but their determination to become a good referee has overruled all the hurdles. They have seen good as well as bad days in the field of refereeing but they never gave up. We follow our motto of 3-Ds, Discipline, Dedication & Determination. There is still a long way to go. However, achieving the national referee status is not the only target. There is more to achieve, making FIFA badge the next target.”

On the women referee scenario in Sikkim, he expressed confidence and said, “Sikkim can definitely produce more women referees provided they are given proper training and exposure to perform in tournaments. Sikkim Football Association has been providing continuous support and platforms for them.”

He further informed that recently, two Sikkimese women referees, Presilla Tamang and Sen Hangma Subba, have undergone Project Future India [PFI], a project especially for referees in India.

“We will soon be organizing training programme for referees in co-ordination with SFA. We would like to invite interested boys and girls of 18 years and above to enroll their names once the official announcement is made,” added Mr Lama.

Extending gratitude to her mentor, Phurki Lhamu who hails from Bhusuk in East Sikkim, said, “Without the guidance and effort of our mentor, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve what we have today. We will be receiving invitations from AIFF to participate in national tournaments where our performance will be under observation. If we succeed in impressing them, AIFF will be nominating us as referees for FIFA international tournaments.”

Likewise, Reshme Chettri who hails from Pangthang here has also extended gratitude to her mentor and the state government for providing support and opportunity.