Guwahati Aug 8: Someone had rightly said that bike rallies never help in winning medals at the Olympics but proper coaching and having better infrastructure do.
"Yes, I agree to it. You must have proper coaching to create world champions," one of the widely respected boxing coaches Oinam Geeta Chanu told The Assam Tribune during an interaction.
With Assam pugilist Lovlina Borgohain winning the bronze at the Olympics in the 69 welter weight category people seem to talking about boxing. But what exactly is the scene of boxing?
For someone like Chanu who had the privilege to train boxers like Lovlina on a number of occasions, life is not that easy.
Apart from that, she has spotted several champions boxers including L Sarita Devi, Sarju Bala Devi, Meena Kumari, Jamuna Boro, Pwilao Basumatary, Bhagyawati Kachari, Pranamika Boro and Kalpana Chowdhury, among others. She has been actively involved with boxing coaching in Assam since 2003. But till today Chanu doesn't have a permanent job with the government. At present she is working under Assam's Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare on a contractual agreement. She gets a sum of Rs 20,000 per month and the payment is made annually.
"Sometimes I feel like… Had I started a grocery shop, I would have earned more," a dejected Chanu said.
"I left my home state Manipur and worked here for almost two decades. Now Assam is my home. But with this kind of situation, I feel I should have gone back."
She says that to get desired results at the global sporting events, coaching at the grassroots should be given more importance.
"We have plenty of talents all across the State and in the entire northeast but what we need is proper coaching facilities at the grassroots," the NIS (National Institute of Sports)-certified coach reckoned.
"I believe every district should have an NIS-certified coach. So that the kids get proper beginning before they can given advanced training for much better results."
Chanu who has done one year diploma course in coaching from Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NSNIS) says that if the coaches are not provided with the basic facilities it is very difficult to focus at the work.
"If you have to worry about so many things, how will you focus at work? So, I believe, at least the basic facilities should be provided to the coaches – like a sufficient amount of salary to run the family and basic accommodation arrangements," the AIBA (International Boxing Association) 2 star coach added.
Chanu, who trained Lovlina at the national camps, said that the bronze medallist has been a fighter since her early days.
"It's great to see Lovlina shining at the Olympics. It's a great achievement not just for her but for the entire State," she added.
Chanu, however, feels that Lovlina should work on her muscle strength and right-hand punch.
"She has a bright future. She can win gold in Paris if she works on improving her weak areas."
Chanu has also served as coach to Indian teams at several international tournaments. As a boxer herself, she has won several medals at the national level championships and participated at the international tourney.