July 23, 2013

India's Snehal Bendke becomes one of two first women referees to officiate at Men's FIBA Asia Championship

Snehal Bendke has always been ahead of her contemporaries and ahead of her time. While most young basketball lovers focus on playing the sport in their early 20s, Bendke took a different angle and chose to focus on refereeing instead. She became one of India's first women referees to be qualified with a FIBA licence. She has officiated since officiated at women's basketball competition across the globe, including the FIBA World Championship and FIBA Asia Championship, just to name a few.

Now, she's set to make history again. Bendke and Chinese referee Ling Peng will become the first women to officiate games at the highest level of basketball competition for Men, as they have been called up amongst the list of 24 other referees at the 27th FIBA Asia Championship for Men in Manila next week.

“Well. This will be the first time that women referees will officiate in a FIBA Asia Championship." said FIBA Asia Secretary General Hagop Khajirian, "I call this the next step in the evolution of FIBA Asia technical officials. The term FIBA Referee is beyond gender. It does not different differentiate between male and female referees. If a referee is good enough to be called a FIBA Referee, then he or she is capable to officiate any game be it for men or women."

Congrats to Snehal: you can find out more about her through this excellent interview with Gopalakrishnan R. a few months ago on SportsKeeda.

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