Wrestler Sangita Patel is urging more girls to get inside the ropes.
The self-confessed geek who fights under the Transformers-inspired alias Alita Capri, is gearing up for a show at Westlake Boys High this weekend and hopes more people, especially women, start to understand the art.
"I think wrestling does have a bit of a bad reputation," says Sangita. "But that's mostly from people who don't understand it.
"There's a lot of skill and safety involved.
"If a move goes wrong there's a risk you could paralyse someone."
Interested in wrestling since she was five, the 26-year-old Milford resident says most people are shocked by her hobby.
"My parents don't approve and when I tell people what I do they're really surprised," says Sangita.
"But it's good fun, great for fitness and there's such a buzz about performing in front of a crowd - you can't beat that feeling."
Sangita is one of five woman wrestlers involved in Impact Pro Wrestling, an independant New Zealand circuit.
"We don't have enough women for there to be any female titles, but we're hoping to get more on board in the next few years so we can set something up," she says.
Saturday night's IPW event at Westlake Boys, dubbed Nightmare B4 Xmas, requires spectators to get involved.
"We're asking people who come to watch to bring things along, items they'd like to see the wrestlers fighting with," says Sangita.
"Guitars are a popular choice."
Doors open at 6:30pm on Saturday night.
Be in to win tickets
The North Shore Times has two pairs of tickets to giveaway for Saturday night's wrestling show at Westlake Boys High. To have a chance of winning, send a postcard or envelope with your name and daytime contact details to Wrestling tickets, North Shore Times, 1 Byron Ave, Takapuna, PO Box 33-235. Deadline for entries is 10am, Friday, December 11. One entry per person.
- North Shore Times