Air assistance

Indian government approves financial aid for 20 boxers to compete in Strandja 2022

Indian government approves financial aid for 20 boxers to compete in Strandja 2022

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has sanctioned the participation of 8 male boxers and 12 female boxers in the 2022 Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria at the full expense of the Government of India. Five support staff from the women’s team and four from the men’s team were also allowed to travel at government expense.

The tournament will start on February 18 and senior women’s national boxing coach Bhaskar Bhatt said the tournament will be a good litmus test ahead of the World Championships, Commonwealth Games as well as the Asian Games this year.

“Strandja is one of the oldest and most difficult tournaments in boxing. It is a development tournament for us before the Worlds and we hope to check these few things that we expect from this competition,” Bhaskar Bhatt told the Sports Authority of India.

“We focus on three parameters: physical preparation, technical preparation and ring craft. Our boxers will play for 4-5 days continuously and we will monitor their performance in the rounds. From a technical point of view, we want to see where the boxers are and how we can improve them before the upcoming tournaments. Likewise, we want to focus on ring tactics and how the boxer implements what she learns in training,” Bhatt added.

India won two medals – silver by Deepak Kumar and bronze by Naveen Boora – in the last edition of Strandja. Bhaskar Bhatt remains a contented man as he comments on the development of Indian boxing over the years and the help of the Sports Authority of India as well as the Boxing Federation of India.

“SAI provided us with all possible facilities, including scientific support. We have received complete instructions to meet the needs of the athlete in the best way. The BFI also supported our daily work,” the coach said from the IG Stadium in Delhi. “We have core group boxers today as well as TOPS development boxers. All these groups have been created so that the boxers can benefit from all possible facilities and it is also the hard work of the boxers that allows them to obtain all the support.

“For the past 4-5 years, SAI has been so supportive of boxers. They always have an eye on what an athlete needs, from how their training goes, to their every move in the ring. All on time The current situation has led to a major mindset shift among athletes that they are not just competing.
“They are going to win medals. They are hungry for medals. This change in mindset will pay off in the long run. Even the athletes have become aware now,” said Bhaskar Bhatt.

Focusing on the wave of competition this year, the coach added: “There are so many tournaments with short gaps this year and we have many boxers to come. Even if they don’t perform this year, I think the batch that started in 2017 in Rohtak has great potential. By the 2024 Olympics they will be polished and improved and we really hope we can see a great result.

Report of Tapas Bhattacharya