Not too comfortable with the idea of private bodies lending personalised help to boxers without consulting the national federation, Boxing Federation of India President Ajay Singh said any organisation wanting to assist pugilists should do it in consultation with BFI.
“I think it is best for the sport of boxing that everything is done under a single umbrella. We should not have disparate efforts by all sorts of people,” BFI supremo Singh made his point clear during an interaction.
“I welcome everybody to support boxing but I feel it would be better co-ordinated if it is done under one umbrella. It’s a more efficient way of doing things rather than have 6-7-10 bodies. It doesn’t help the cause of boxers,” he further explained.
Singh’s comments are in consonance with the recent recommendations given to the national shooting federation by a review committee led by Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra.
That committee had also felt that lack of coordination between the national body and private helping hands had affected India’s performance in shooting and recommended that there should be greater co-ordination between national federation and such bodies to ensure there is no “overlapping of resources”.
Among the prominent private sports foundations working with boxers are Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), which has World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa and Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom, and JSW Sports, which has Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan among others.
The boxers attached to private bodies get additional coaches and support staff alongwith the ones available to all national campers.
Another major challenge for BFI, Singh said, would be to root out regionalism from selection and judging.
“Regionalism is an important problem and we will make sure that we are Indians first. This is not about states I have spoken to the coaches, technical officials and selection committe. I have told them very strictly that there should be no bias in the way they are judging the bouts as well as the way the players are selected. There should not be any regionalism,” he said.
Also in the pipeline is a Centre of Excellence in Delhi being planned at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
“We are planning to set up a Centre of Excellence in Delhi, we are planning boxing academies in every part of the country to tap talent. We need to have academies in all eight zones,” he said.