In the world of boxing, a name from the smallest state of Goa in the country who has made international waves for his remarkable technical knowledge, prowess over the sport, determination and passion even as he nears 70, is Lenny D’Gama.
Having taken up boxing in the Air Force as a fighter pilot at the age of 16 in 1969, his never-give-up attitude pushed him to move onward and upwards in the sport over the years. “We would wait for an announcement of any tournament to compete in, and even today, I rarely decline appointments for boxing within the country and abroad. Boxing has made me what I am and it is a way of life now,” Lenny says in Itanagar where he is stationed for the 5th Junior National Boys Boxing Championship as the Technical Delegate.
He is also conducting the course and examination for national technical officials.
Lenny D’Gama is instrumental in laying the foundation for the sport in Goa where he would coach young boys and then formed the Goa Amateur Boxing Association.
“I am grateful to the organisers for conducting this championship here in Itanagar. It is the love for the sport and a chance to showcase boxing to the Northeast,” he shares.
Lenny who is currently the chairman of the technical and rules commission of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is also a two-time member of the Referee Judges Commission of the International Boxing Association. Having officiated as an RJ evaluator and observer at over five World Championships, 10+ continent and inter-continent boxing championships, Lenny believes that competitions are the way forward in getting popularity for the sport and bringing in more talent.
Reflecting on the growth of boxing in the Northeast, Lenny expresses: “The talent and passion for boxing in this region are unmatched. We have incredible potential waiting to be tapped. By providing better infrastructure, training facilities, and opportunities, we can transform the landscape of boxing here. I want to see more young talents from the Northeast shine on the international stage. I have been seeing over the years that the standard of boxers from the Northeast has improved drastically and such tournaments will pave the way for future champions.”
Steadily climbing the ranks and gaining recognition for his impressive technical conduct on the international stage, Lenny known for being the top-most Asian official was officiating at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held in July 2021.
Lenny has over the last many years officiated at 3 Asian Games, 4 Commonwealth Games and 14 World Championships, besides several other international boxing events.
With his relentless drive and unwavering dedication, Lenny is not only pursuing his dreams but also advocating for the growth of boxing in his region in Goa. “It is my dream to have a residential boxing academy for boxers in Goa. I have done what I could, and the younger generation needs to take it forward,” he reckons.
Lenny is not new to the Northeast. He worked as a competition manager in Shillong for the South Asian Games in 2016. He also served as competition director at the Commonwealth Games, New Delhi in 2010 and was closely working with the organising committee as Deputy Director of the Lusofonia Games, Goa, in 2014.
After a busy June in Sikkim for the 6th Youth Men’s National Boxing Championship and thereafter in Bhopal for the 6th Youth Women’s National Boxing Championship where he was technical delegate, Lenny, will travel to Morocco for the African Championships later this month followed by the East Asian Youth Games to Mongolia in August.
“Boxing is not just a sport to me; it’s a way of life. It challenges me physically, mentally, and emotionally,” he says.
Lenny’s efforts to uplift boxing have not gone unnoticed and continues to make strides in his boxing career, he remains committed to his twin goals: achieving personal success in the ring and elevating the sport wherever he can. “I am now looking forward to the National Games in Goa. Efforts of so many years will finally bear fruit and I’m sure Goan boxers will have a podium finish,” says a hopeful Lenny.