CHENNAI: New year, fresh ideas. In a rare move, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) named two coaches to lift the sport in the days to come. Dronacharya awardee SR Singh and former sub-junior women’s coach Shiv Singh have been handed the task of leading two separate camps in Patiala and Aurangabad.
They will replace veteran Gurbax Singh Sandhu, who was recently named the senior women’s team coach.
SR Singh will work with 47 boxers in Patiala from January 10, while Shiv Singh will guide the remaining 38 pugilists in Aurangabad during the same period. After careful consideration, the duo were picked based on experience and ability to nurture talent.
Coaches commission chief Jas Lal Pradhan revealed that the committee, comprising a selection panel, officials and president Ajay Singh, agreed to this move. “With around 85 boxers in the fray, it’ll be tough for one man to help with training. With two separate camps, there’ll be more competition. All the boxers will face against each other. The coaches can give more time to each boxer,” he told Express.
“The boxers will be ranked in each camp and the top-ranked boxer from one camp will have a face-off with the No 1 boxer in the other camp. Based on the result and overall performances, we will the prune the side for future competitions. This idea was always in our minds,” he added.
National youth coach G Manoharan, who was one of the favourites to take the top post, was named deputy coach instead. It is learnt that Manoharan is not happy with the idea and has already written to the president. Manoharan wants to be either the chief coach or retain his current role. As of now, Manoharan has been assigned to attend the Aurangabad camp with Shiv Singh.
“We have made these appointments after taking feedback from boxers and coaches. We wanted a large pool of coaches and we also wanted to diversify the national camp. So what will happen is that boxers in these two camps will compete against each other on a regular basis,” Ajay Singh said.
Meanwhile, former Commonwealth gold medallist Suranjoy Singh has been appointed as the assitant coach. Suranjoy is currently employed by the Indian Air Force, as their head coach.
Jaydev Bisht, CA Kuttappa, and N Ramanand are others in the coaching staff.
Fresh after winning national title recently, Manoj Kumar is ready for new beginning. “Well, I’m ready for a fresh start. I’m just focussed on giving my best during the camp. Both the coaches are highly experienced and should do well to help the boxers.”
World Championship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa and Commonwealth Games silver medallist L Devendro Singh will be based in Patiala. Experienced pugilist Vikas Krishan’s name did not feature in the list as he is currently training in the US. But the president said that he is free to join the camp later and fight during the trials.