Jorhat, Aug. 11: Former SAI coach and national boxing champion Pranamika Borah means business when she says that five determined girls are all she needs to groom them into international-level players.
Recruited as the boxing coach here, Pranamika looks and speaks tough as she gets ready to teach members of the Jorhat Amateur Boxing Association, who come to learn the basics of the sport at Jorhat Stadium here.
“I have my work cut out for me. There is no boxing ring and the stadium is the only place where these boys can practise. Most of them don’t own gloves or pads — basic requirements for boxing. Moreover, there is a poor turnout of girls despite the Northeast turning out a champion like MC Mary Kom,” she said.
Pranamika won the gold in the 33rd National Games held in Guwahati in 2007 and also in the fourth and the fifth Senior Women’s National Boxing Championships at Kokrajhar (Assam) and Kollam (Kerala). She won several silver and bronze medals at international meets, including silver at the XX International Ahmet Comert Boxing Championship in Istanbul in 2004 and third Asian Boxing Championship in Taiwan in 2005, is not discouraged by the lack of facilities.
“I hope I will be able to do a good job. I am disappointed that there were no girls to represent the district in the recent inter-district boxing championships at Moran. But I hope when the word spreads some girls will be drawn to the sport. All I need are five dedicated girls and I am sure that I will be able to groom them to international level of the game,” she said.
Pranamika tills her ancestral plot of agricultural land with a tractor at Tipomia in Titabar subdivision before coming to Jorhat for the practice sessions. She said she would request the government to install a boxing ring here and provide gloves and pads to the boxers.
Pranamika worked as a coach at the Sports Authority of India facility at Golaghat on contract from August 2010 to January 2014, before being appointed coach here by the state government.
With an impressive track record of having coached at several SAI-sponsored coaching camps and also having accompanied Mary Kom in the 2010 16th Asian Games held at Guangzhou, China, as coach of the senior women’s team, Jorhat may soon see a surge of good boxers under the tutelage of Pranamika.
Khetri Iril Mapal Youth Club held Eatern Sporting Union to a 1-1 draw in the Maharajkumar Ghanendrajit Memorial Super Division Football League 2014 played at Artificial Turf, Khuman Lampak sports complex, writes our sports correspondent from Imphal.