From coaching to refereeing, this man holds the success recipe
Getting into the select group of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) referees in the country was no plain sailing for Durairaju Rameshkumar. "Commitment is all that one needs to succeed," he asserts and shows enough proof of it. Not many dare to opt for basketball after specializing in volleyball. But Ramesh tried it out. He joined as a fitness trainer at Sacred Heart Girls Higher Secondary, Thanjavur and started to develop interest in the game."I owe it to my friends, Prabhakaran and Perumal, who taught me everything about basketball and coaching techniques," he says with much gratitude.Ramesh went on to become a full-fledged basketball coach at Kamala Subramaniam Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Thanjavur and helped his team attain the top position in the district. It was during this time that he got attracted to refereeing and without wasting time, he began working towards his next goal.
After successfully clearing the State and National 'A' panel examinations, Ramesh was selected to be one of the four referees recommended by the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) to participate in the FIBA Asia referees exam at Dhaka two months ago."Fitness test is the most important part of the exam, as it plays a crucial role while refereeing matches at the highest level. Apart from a written test on the rules and regulations of the game, we also have to officiate a match in which our presence of mind is tested during tricky situations," he explains. Ramesh does not forget to thank the Chairman of Tamil Nadu Basketball Association, A.N. Dyaneshwaran, for the support and guidance he received from him. "Playing, coaching and officiating are three different roles," he points out, adding that there is no compulsion that a referee should be a player.
"Ramesh has been a successful coach and now a qualified referee. His dedication towards the game has taken him to such a level," says SDAT (Tiruchi) basketball coach, M. Rama Subramaniaraja, who guided Ramesh during his initial years. After having officiated in more than ten National championships, Ramesh has set his sight on Olympics. "Officiating at the Olympics and World Championships would be a dream come true for me and I hope to make it to the big stage soon," Ramesh gushes, looking forward to the FIBA referees clinic, which he would be attending in November.