By our sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, June 18: The secretary of the Assam Amateur Boxing Association Hemanta Kalita feels that coming Rio Olympics is a good opportunity for Shiva Thapa to make the countrymen proud for him. In a conversation with The Sentinel he also said that new government should work for the overall development of sports in the State. Here is the excerpt.
Now Assam Boxing Association has its own office.
Yes. We were trying our best to get an office and recently it was allotted to us at the RG Baruah Sports complex. Our job will now be much easier.
What is the present status of boxing in Assam?
It’s very encouraging. Our women boxers are doing very well in the different tiol as well as intertiol events. You will not get a single tiol camp in the recent past where our boxer didn’t attend. I feel in the coming days many of our boxers will feature regularly in the senior team.
New government has taken guard at Dispur. What is your expectation?
We want over all development of sports in the State. It shouldn’t be like that few sports bodies receive huge facilities and others get nothing. Our government, particularly Sports Ministry, should give special attention on it.
Have you any such bad experience?
Yes, we have. During the time of earlier government we virtually get nothing. Even sometimes different grants were not given to us. It was possibly around 2014 when we were told that 10 boxing rings will be distributed in different parts of the state and suggestion in this regard was also taken from us. We were very happy with the news. Even paper work had started to execute the decision but later the plan was changed for unknown reason. Football and basketball took the place of boxing ring. When we enquired the matter we were told that there was pressure from the top to change the earlier decision. These things shouldn’t be happened. On the other hand I am not satisfied with the activities of the state Level Advisory Committee (SLAC) for Students & Youth Welfare also. Not a politician, one neutral person who has fair ideas on sports and can give enough time, should be appointed for the top post of this organization.
Shiva Thapa is gearing up for Rio Olympics. Can sports lovers of India this time expect a medal from him?
I think so. Last time he was little bit inexperience. But I feel now he is matured enough to take the challenge and the pressure of big events like Olympic. Although I couldn’t able to talk to him very recently but I am in regular touch with chief coach of the Indian boxing team GS Sandhu. He is very much optimistic about Shiva’s good performance in Olympics. Hope Shiva will make the Rio Olympics a memorable one for us.
Do you feel Indian fans will badly miss Mary Kom in Rio?
I agree. Although efforts are on to get a wild card for her but chances are very remote. However it will be great news for us if she maged to get it. Otherwise we will badly miss her. Mary is a born fighter and her achievements in the ring are very laudable. I feel she is the right person to be a role model for new generation.
Vijender has shown a new way to the boxer of the country. Do you agree?
Yes, I agree. Earlier if the boxers didn’t get a berth in world championship or Olympic they quickly drop the game and join in some other activities. But Vijender has shown the other way and it is professiol boxing. There is good news for the professiol boxers as from this year AIBA has allowed them to take part in Olympic playing through qualifying round. On the other hand many professiol boxing organizations like World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association had already opened their unit in India and we can expect a major change in the boxing in country very soon.