Learning English - Words in the News
27 February, 2006 - Published 14:41 GMT
Women fight to be sumos
Two women, who live in Derby in England, are training hard to compete against the world's top female sumo wrestlers. The Sumo World Cup takes place in Japan in October and the women, who are training partners, are both hoping to qualify. This report is read by Catherine Addis:
The sport, a male bastion which began as a Shinto ritual in Japan about 1,500 years ago, only recently opened up its ranks to women. But Jackie Bates, 50, who weighs 127kg, has already won a silver medal and aims to win more.
"It's supposed to be a vicious sport and takes a lot of fighting sprit and a lot of guile," she said. "It's like pushing a bus around, but it keeps me fit, keeps me on my toes and people say I look good."
Her trainer Steve 'Sumo' Pateman, who pioneered sumo wrestling in the UK, said: "Women tend to be mentally tougher than males - they're determined to win and it's the key to everything."
She trains four times a week and lifts weights to gain strength, managing up to 70kg on the bar.
"Jackie's very feminine but she can generate the aggression that she needs," Mr Pateman said.
Jackie adds: "It is a very dynamic, powerful sport and that's what I like about it. It will take a while for the British women to reach the top - they're not as brave as the European women where there is a huge following and where there are many women who are fighting already."
Her training partner Chantal Freebury, said: "It seems like only a few seconds in the ring sometimes, but it gets your heart going. It's the fitness and the enjoyment that draws me in - it's a lot of fun."
Ms Bates, who is an aerobics teacher, competed in the Sumo World Cup in 2003. She's also fought in Japan and elsewhere in Europe and is hoping to qualify for the World Cup again in October in Japan. Sumo wrestlers hope their sport will join the Olympics and 84 countries are now affiliated to the International Sumo Federation.
a male bastion
a Shinto ritual
keeps me on my toes
it gets your heart going
draws me in
an aerobics teacher