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Indian boxing’s coaching staff set for change: BFI chief

Ajay Singh
 HARIDWAR, Nov 25: Indian boxing’s coaching set-up is set for an overhaul with the national federation’s president Ajay Singh revealing that plans are afoot to introduce younger coaches in the national camps and even increase their number to ensure better attention for pugilists.

 “There will obviously be changes in the coaching staff. We are discussing that with the coaching staff. Obviously we need to get fresh blood, younger people into the coaching and you will see that announcement soon. I have consulted boxers and even the coaches, I can tell you that there isn’t much resistance,” Singh said on the sidelines of the just-concluded Women’s National Championship here after chairing a meeting of the Boxing Federation of India’s Executive Committee.

“I also want to see many more women coaches. A decision on this will be taken very soon. We are going to have 16 coaches in addition to support staff for 70 boxers in the women’s camp,” he added.

Currently, the men’s team has the long-serving Gurbax Singh Sandhu at helm while the women’s team has Anoop Kumar as chief coach besides a handful of assistant coaches. Both the chief coaches are Dronacharya awardees.

The National Championships, which also doubled up as selection trials for the upcoming national camps, concluded with Haryana dominating the show, followed by the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB).

“I think we have managed to identify some fantastic talent. We will be taking 70 of them to the national camp, which will be held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi, that will be starting on December 10. We will ensure that they get the best possible facilities. The best possible coaching and support staff will be provided to them to upgrade their talent,” Singh said.

Asked whether the boxers who missed the Championships, including the likes of MC Mary Kom, L Sarita Devi and Pinki Jangra, would be considered for inclusion in the camp, Singh said relaxation will be made this time but warned that no leeway would be given in future.

“We would like everybody who wants to play for India, compete in national championship. This was the first national championships, some of the girls were injured, some had other issues because of which they could not participate. We will try and show some flexibility this time. From next time, we want to ensure that unless there is some very valid reason, they must come to play in the Nationals, if they want to play for the country,” he said.

Singh reiterated his commitment to have academies in all the eight zones that are represented in the Boxing Federation of India.

“We will have academies in each of the eight zones. Plus we will participate in a bunch of tournaments starting in January. We understand there is a women’s championship in January in Serbia and we will be sending a team for that. We will try to ensure participation in maximum tournaments around the world,” he said.

“We will try and have more domestic championships soon. We will try to have inter-zonal championships where States will be allowed to field more than one team,” he added.

Speaking of the just-concluded championships, Singh said not just boxers but the performance of referees and judges will be analysed and shortcomings identified.

“We will analyse the performance of referees and judges although we have not received too many complaints. We will have a one-day clinic for technical officials in Guwahati on December 6 to upgrade their skills.”

Singh said after the Senior Men’s Nationals in Guwahati next month, the BFI will conduct championships for youth. Besides, a calendar for the next four years has also been finalised. – PTI

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