On a warm winter day in January,as children were busy cheering on boxers at the 16th North Zone Senior Boxing Championship in Jind,there was a single figure that stood out from the crowd. Dressed in white with a black bowtie,Pandit Shikha was the lone woman judge from Chandigarh at the event.
This is my first assignment as a judge at a major event. I am not nervous but I fear making an erroneous decision that goes in favour of the wrong player, shared Shikha,who at 22 is the youngest boxing referee from Chandigarh. She also happens to be the youngest schoolteacher in S D School,Sector 32.
When I sat for the Technical Official Indian Amateur Boxing Association Test in November 2008,most of the people appearing for it were middle-aged. In fact,I was the junior-most candidate and when the results were announced none could believe that I had passed! she added. Shikha has been a senior state gold medalist and also represented Chandigarh in several senior national boxing championships.
A student of Physical Education,she has also played the role of a boxing coach and her brief stint was more than memorable. I had eleven players under my guidance and our hard work was rewarded when all of them won gold medals at the Sub-Junior Chandigarh Boxing Championship, says Shikha.
Her tryst with boxing was not accidental. I got into boxing from a very young age and coming from a family full of sportsmen,I was exposed to all kind of sports. Her father was a volleyball player,mother an athlete and brother is a baseball player.
This Chandigarh girl was awarded the title of the Fastest Girl of UT by none other than the Flying Sikh himself,Milkha Singh. A Masters degree in Psychology brought her closer to the dream of becoming a Boxing referee.
I would sit for hours and observe boxing bouts. After the matches,I would discuss the game with the officials,about what I thought was the correct decision and where they lacked. Impressed with my analytical mind,they encouraged me to get into umpiring and I am glad my mentors showed me the way, Shikha signs off.