Former Indian National champion Satinder Kaur quits DoJ job to join Australia boxing team
While 'Magnificent Mary' scaled new heights post giving birth to her twins, marriage took 2004 National champion Kaur too far away in New South Wales in Australia.
Published: 21st March 2023 07:23 PM | Last Updated: 21st March 2023 07:41 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: She was MC Mary Kom's contemporary but the trajectory of Satinder Kaur's life-path was entirely different from the iconic six-time World Champion.
While 'Magnificent Mary' scaled new heights post giving birth to her twins, marriage took 2004 National champion Kaur too far away in New South Wales in Australia, where boxing was illegal for women even a decade and a half back.
And when it became legal, Satinder was pregnant with her firstborn, a son. She tried to pursue the sport once again but had to quit as she had two small children to tend to.
Satinder had completed her BA degree and a diploma in boxing from NIS Patiala before getting married and moving to Australia in 2007.
In 2020, after years of staying away from the boxing ring, Satinder, gave up her cushy job in the New South Wales' Department of Justice (DOJ) to follow her passion once again.
She was appointed as the assistant coach for New South Wales, which she is enjoying thoroughly.
And in 2023, Satinder is finally back in Australian colours, albeit as manager of the Australian women's team that is taking part in the World Championship.
And it is a voluntary appointment without any monetary perks.
"Woh bolte hai na aapke andar aag jalti rehti hai woh kam ho jaati hai par abhi bhi sulgh rahi hai (the intensity of the fire in my belly to box went down but it was still there)," Satinder, who is town for the Women's World Championships as the Australian team's manager, told PTI.
Recollecting good old days
Having started boxing under renowned coach and Dronacharya awardee, Shiv Singh, Chandigarh's Satinder, who won the 2004 Nationals after winning the silver a year earlier, rose the domestic ranks pretty quickly.
"I started boxing in India around 2001. I would train with coach Shiv Singh. I used to play for Chandigarh," said Satinder who competed in the lightweight category (63kg).
"First the coach refused to train me because he didn't train girls. The first two weeks I would go and just sit and look at everyone. He didn't make me do anything. But I was determined that I have to do boxing. Seeing my hard work and dedication, sir decided to train me and in three months of training, I got a silver in the 2003 nationals."
Since no women trained under Singh, Satinder had no option but to spar with men which motivated her to improve her fitness. And the silver medal was followed by a gold in the 2004 Nationals a year later.
In the national camp she trained alongside the likes of the legendary MC Mary Kom and World Champions L Sarita Devi and Jenny RL and returning to the Indra Gandhi Indoor Stadium is like a blast from the past filled with nostalgia.
"I feel so coming back here. I met some of the boxers who were with me in the camp after 19 years."
Coaching gives psychological boost
The 40-year-old Satinder is hopeful that her work with the Australian team would be appreciated and that she would have a more permanent role in the set-up.
"I am grateful to Boxing Australia and Boxing Federation of India for this opportunity," said Satinder, who hopes her good work would earn her a permanent gig with Boxing Australia.
"When I am coaching those 1-2 hours my thoughts are 100 per cent on coaching, I am not thinking about anything else. That gives me a lot of satisfaction. Psychologically it works for me."
Despite being away for over half a month, Satinder - the mother and wife has made sure her children and husband are cared for.
"I cook everything before I go somewhere. Right now I am away for 20 days so I have cooked curries for every day and stored them in the fridge before coming."