House burnt, no training but Manipur boxers compete at Youth National Championships
One player L Rahul Singh is from Sugnu, a small village south of Imphal which is one of the worst affected areas in the state. His house was burnt down and he came with just his pants and t-shirt on.
CHENNAI: House burnt down, training from relief camp before leaving, missing practice for weeks and living with constant fear… these are some of the ordeals boxers from Manipur had to go through before flying out of the state to participate at the Youth Men's National Boxing Championships in Gangtok, Sikkim.
Until the last moment, the boxers did not even know whether they would be able to reach the venue. The roads are all blocked. The only way they could have travelled out of Imphal was by air. “We had to book air tickets and ask them to assemble at the airport,” said P Dhanajit Singh, the secretary of the Manipur Amateur Boxing Association.
TK Singh, the manager, who accompanied the team said it was not easy. One player L Rahul Singh is from Sugnu, a small village south of Imphal which is one of the worst affected areas in the state. His house was burnt down and he came with just his pants and t-shirt on. He was training from the relief camp, said TK Singh.
“We did not have practice for more than two months now and it was showing at the championships,” the manager said. “Rahul used to train out of relief camp.” Unlike Rahul, other players are from in and around Imphal. Most of them trained at their home before joining the team. “Most of them are within 10 km radius of Imphal,” he said. Some of the players who could manage to practice did on their own.
TK Singh also said that there was no funding from anywhere and they had to collect money from members and well-wishers. “Airfares are very high and bringing the players was not easy,” he said. “We took a train from Guwahati to New Jalpaiguri Station and then taxis at `1000 per head,” he said.
Rahul lost his bout on Thursday but the Manipur team is not upset. They are happy that they are able to participate. “The players are going through a traumatic phase and we can't expect more,” said the manager. The players are anxious again. “Though they are in touch with their families after the fresh violence in Manipur they are anxious,” he said.
Boxers: Rishi Mangang, Th Tompak Singh, Lamnganba Mangang, Ng Jupiter Singh, W Lamjingba, Chinglemba Moiranthem, Sinam Allar, Kh Biken, S Yoihenba Singh, L Rahul Singh; Coach: A Ibomcha Singh; Manager: TK Singh.