To new beginnings, Sarita Devi to start a boxing academy in her Manipuri village
Indian pugilist Sarita Devi is marching ahead keeping all her failures behind and is doing so with renewed vigour. The former Asian Games bronze medalist is all set to open up her boxing academy in the small village of Mayang in Imphal to assist and encourage future boxers from the area.
Having been in the limelight for the wrong reasons when she declined to accept the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon after being deprived of silver and subsequently serving a ban, the boxer has come a long way in the last couple of years.
The 31-year old last failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics earlier this year when she was knocked out in the second round of the Womens’ World Championships. However, the star has not lost heart as she prepares herself to set up the boxing academy in her native village.
In a telephonic conversation with One India, Sarita Devi who was speaking from Mayang, said, "After failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics, I came back to the village for a couple of weeks' rest before resuming training. And during that time, I watched several kids trying to play boxing at a local club arena. So it came in my mind to start the project in a more organised way."
Thoiba, Sarita Devi’s husband, was already overlooking and running the existing boxing coaching centre in the club premises for the past three years. But, a lack of financial backing meant that he was unable to give it a proper shape regarding infrastructure.
Sarita added, "I have made requests to Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) for some financial assistance, and they have promised me to do so."
Riding on the assurance from her sponsors, Sarita Devi has already designed the plan for her Academy. It will comprise of two separate hostels, one each for boys and girls, a couple of professional rings and few modern fitness equipment.
The boxer who won the silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 650kg weight category, went on to talk about the fact that her village is a bag house of talent when it comes to boxing. "Four young boxers (two girls and two boys) from my village have been spotted by OGQ to nurture them in future. It has been highly inspiring for me to run the academy in a much better way,” she said.
On another note, Sarita seemed to be deeply shattered by the present condition of her former trainer Dingko Singh who is undergoing treatment at AIIMS. She said, "I will go to Delhi on 19th of this month, meet him and then let us see what I can do for him. Whatever achievement I have made today is due to him only."