Fri, Oct 28, 2016 | updated 03:44 PM IST

Northeast youth eyeing boxing as a career

Updated: Sep 23, 2016 08:18 IST

Gangtok (Sikkim) [India], Sept. 23 (ANI): Boxing fever seems to be gripping youth in north eastern states of the country.

A large number of youth in Sikkim are opting for boxing as a career.

The Sikkim Amateur Boxing Association (SABA) recently organised a four-day-long tournament in Gangtok to promote boxing and to help youth consider taking up the sport as a career.

Sikkim's Agriculture Minister Somnath Poudyal graced the event along with other sports officials from the state.

Hundreds of people thronged M G Marg, the heart of the town, to witness the one-of-a-kind outdoor boxing event.

Pintso Chopel Lepcha, the chairman of the organizing committee, said, "We organized a boxing championship in the heart of Gangtok, M G Marg, to encourage the youth. Keeping in mind our prime minister's mission for the next Olympics, we hope this initiative will bring forth boxers from our small state as well. We hope that in the next Olympics, boxers from Sikkim will be participating as well."

As many as 285 boxers, both male and female, from across the state, took part in the event. Eleven boxing clubs and associations registered themselves for participation in the tournament.

Sub-junior participants were categorized into 14 weight categories, while the seniors were divided into eight weight categories.

Many young girls who attended the tournament want to follow in the footsteps of M C Mary Kom and aspire to be international boxing stars in the days to come.

The youth of the northeast are extremely talented and they need to channelize their energies to realize their dreams through such games and other constructive arts.

Jaslal Pradhan, the president of SABA, said, "This competition is a base for the next Olympics. To reach to that level these players need to continue working hard and training for at least the next ten years. If in the future, the government continues its efforts and initiatives in the same manner, then, these boxers will definitely become a part of the Indian contingent at the Olympics, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games."

Similarly, in Shillong, the Rilbong Sports and Cultural Club in collaboration with Meghalaya Boxing Association, organized the All Shillong Boxing Championship. The tournament also marked the diamond jubilee of the club.

Olympian boxer Shiva Thapa graced the tournament at the Riblong ground in Shillong.

People from across the state came to witness the event and to get a glimpse of the only pugilist from the northeast to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

The Olympian boxer also demonstrated some of his moves, leaving local boxers awestruck.

Thapa said, "I would like to say that whenever you are distracted from something; always listen to your family and parents because they are the closest ones telling (you) the right thing to do. That's what I did when I was small and I just want to share about my childhood, what I did and what I thought. So, I think, it's important that you should listen to your parents."

Such events act as a platform for aspiring athletes from the northeast region to showcase their talent. (ANI)