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Kickstart for academy

Guwahati, July 3: Gauhati Town Club today announced the adoption of kickboxing as its fifth sports discipline to open an academy under its banner, after football, cricket, swimming and chess.

“We have decided last evening to open a kickboxing academy, with active support from the Assam Kickboxing Association, to groom youngsters for the state in a discipline which, undoubtedly, has a bright future in view of the immense potential in our athletes. It will be known as the GTC Kickboxing Centre,” said GTC general secretary Devajit Saikia here today.

“It will initially be a non-resident academy where we will look forward to accommodate nearly 50 trainees, which may go up in the future. Some of the talented kickboxers from other parts of the state can be accommodated under a residential scheme, too, in the future. We have appointed black belt Dan IV holder Biswajit Kakoti as the director of the academy,” Saikia added.

“Although it is a non-Olympic sport so far, we are hopeful that it will be recognised very soon and then our academy will be known as one which pioneered the players grooming for the state,” he added.

Elaborating on the academy, Kakoti said: “We are thankful to the GTC for coming forward to patronise a sport, which is yet to enjoy its deserving status. The academy training sessions will commence by the end of this month. There will be two-hour classes three days in a week. We are working on the age groups, which will be tentatively in under-14, under-17 and under-19 groups apart from interested seniors whom we can train. The academy will have the authority to issue grades to the trainees. I will be assisted by at least two more coaches which could be increased later on depending on the response we get.”

The GTC was working on the initiative to adopt a martial art discipline since last year when it first set up its football academy in February.

“We are very careful in adopting disciplines for academies. Since we found the kickboxing association people sincere in their efforts, we finally decided to adopt it,” Saikia said, adding that more contact sports disciplines could be adopted in the future.

In the another initiative, the GTC Chess Foundation, the chess academy of the club, is going to organise an annual school chess championship on the club premises here from July 11 to 13. Students upto Class XII will be eligible to participate in the three-day nine-round Swiss League meet.

Named the 1st Moserbaer GTC School Chess Championship, nearly 200 players are expected to participate in the Rs 30,000 prize-money event, said Saikia. The top five position holders would be provided advanced coaching under an international master at the cost of the GTC, he added.

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