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News & Information From Northeast India

Sarita Devi wants boxing to help youths stay away from negative activities

Manipur boxer Sarita Devi, who won the gold medal in the 60kg weight category at the India Open Boxing tournament in Guwahati on Friday, said that the Northeast states should organize more sporting events like Assam so that youths can be drawn into sports and they stay away from negative activities.

“In Northeast India, Assam has been organizing boxing tournaments often. This is the reason, a bunch of young boxers are coming up from the state. But the other states, especially Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, are not hosting any tournaments. Boxers are coming up but unfortunately we could not host any tournament in Manipur,” Sarita told reporters after her bout at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati on Friday.

In April, Sarita also won bronze in the Asian Championships in Thailand. This is the first gold of the year as well as her first gold in the India Open. In the inaugural edition in last year in New Delhi she had won silver.

She said just because Assam has been organizing tournaments, many youngsters are coming to take up boxing in the state.

“Earlier, there were not many boxers from Assam. Now Jamuna has won gold and Shiva Thapa…similarly many more will come… If more tournaments are organized here in the Northeast, more kids will be attracted towards the game and they will be away from negative activities,” she added.

On the new generation boxers she said that they are lucky unlike the senior lot.

“We had to struggle a lot. We got the facilities and sponsors only after playing in the Olympics. But these younger kids are getting all the facilities including the service of the foreign coaches besides the exposure trips. They should dream big and perform better than us. The government is also providing the facilities,” Sarita added.

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