Manipuri girls want to become boxers

Imphal, Oct.15 : The success of women boxers from the northeast is becoming a major inspiration for the young girls and women. More and more girls are these days preparing themselves to become professional boxers.

Hundreds of young Manipuri girls in the age group of 16 to 25 are learning the rudiments of sparring at the coaching camp conducted jointly by the State Youth Affairs and Sports Department and the Sports Authority of India at Khuman Lampak.

"These days many girls are taking up boxing because there is a lot of scope for the girls and the future is bright. And one can get fame at international level. There are various lady boxers who have shown results in the field. So these girls also want to do the same," said M. Narajit Singh, boxing coach, Youth Affairs and Sports Department, Manipur.

Unlike other sports like cricket, golf, billiards and tennis, which are elite in nature and have rich corporate sponsorship, boxing in Manipur lacks such luxuries.

But despite all this, the young girls are determined to train themselves in their punches and hooks, in the ring and earn laurels. They also aspire to get jobs as sportspersons.

"We wish we get a balanced diet to improve in boxing. We want the government to give us more facilities," said A. R. S Thangal, a woman boxer.

Most of these budding boxers complain of being deprived of basic facilities.

For most of these young boxers, the three-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom, has been the biggest inspiration in the recent times.

Marykom excelled at the international level despite facing ridicule and a tough time.

"People made fun of my boxing in the village. But I did not bother and got more encouragement from this criticism. I was doing thing of my personal interest. I thought that I will be successful one day," said M. C. Mary Kom, Manipur's champion international boxer.

Boxing was considered basically a male-dominated sport till 1960s, but over the years the sport has fascinated many girls here who wish to train themselves to get their basic right for bouts. y L.C.K Singh

Read more about: imphal
Story first published: Wednesday, October 15, 2008, 18:15 [IST]
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