Boxing comes alive in Uttar Pradesh, girls too enter the ring

September 7th, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

By Asit Srivastava

Lucknow, Sep 7 (IANS) Haryana lad Vijender Singh’s boxing bronze medal at the Beijing Games has provided an impetus to the sport in Uttar Pradesh. And it isn’t just the boys who are getting ready to pack a punch in the ring — the girls are equally keen. Boxing training programmes in the state have this year attracted as many as 50 aspirants as compared to only five or six in previous years. And the numbers are going to increase, sources said.

“It is incredible. Call it the Vijender-effect,” said Abhishek Kumar, a boxing coach at the K.D. Singh Babu Stadium.

“The training sessions that are being organised here for the last 15 years have not witnessed such a response till date,” he added.

Interestingly, girls have also shown interest in joining the boxing training sessions, officials said.

About 10 girls have already applied for the training sessions. After a medical test, they would be enrolled in the training programme, officials added.

“It is heartening that girls are now opting for this sport,” said a girl trainee Komal Gupta, a class 10 student, who aspires to become a professional boxer like Laila Ali.

According to officials, barring a few states, including Mizoram, Kerala, Sikkim and Nagaland, participation of women in boxing is nearly nil.

In Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow is the only centre that offers regular training programmes for aspiring boxers. Besides the K.D. Singh Babu Stadium, boxing sessions are also organised at the Chowk stadium in Lucknow.

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