Sarita Devi starts boxing academy in her village in Manipur

"After failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics, I came back to village for couple of weeks' rest before resuming training."

Written by: Sujata Sarkar
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Bengaluru, Nov 16: Indian boxer Lashiram Sarita Devi stole limelight with her tears at the medals ceremony by refusing to accept the bronze medal after being deprived of silver in the Incheon Asian Games 2014.

Now, after putting that unsavoury episode behind, the 31-year old boxer has started an academy in her village Mayang in Imphal after having failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

A file picture of Sarita Devi

Sarita, speaking over phone from Mayang on Tuesday (November 15), said, "After failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics, I came back to village for 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."

Sarita's husband Thoiba was already running the boxing coaching centre in the club premises for the last three years. But due to financial crisis he could not give a proper shape to the coaching centre.

Sarita added, "I have made requests to Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) for some financial assistance and they have promised me to do so."

With an assurance from her sponsor, Sarita has designed the plans of her academy which will consist of hostel for both the boys and girls, two rings and a few modern fitness equipment.

And the silver medal winner in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 in her 60 kg weight category did not forget to inform that her village has not been dearth of talent at all.

She said, "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."

The boxer however is deeply moved the news of Dingko Singh who has been going through treatment at AIIMS. Dingko Singh has been Sarita’s former trainer.

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."

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