Boxing is no more male domination if you look at the Golconda Boxing Association’s (GBA) strength where 37 out of 148 trainees are girls’ pugilists matching their mitts and wits with each other. In their quest to make a mark at the national and international level, these young girl pugilists sweat it out daily in a three-hour morning session that starts at 6.15 am at the GHMC’s Owaisi ground in Golconda. These boxers come from places like Sun City, Attapur, Kishanbagh, Toli Chowki, Sheikpet, Banjara Hills and Mehdipatnam.
Training against the backdrop of magnificent Golconda fort, coach Shaik Aijaz Ahmed says the participation of the girls is one of the encouraging factors of the camp. “They show a lot of enthusiasm and some of them like Amrutha Thakur, Syeda Salma Jahan, Ayani Sultana, Huba Fatima Fatima, Bushra Shah and Afsha Shah have participated in the nationals and won laurels also. It is not just about self defence but seriousness in their workouts.
They are eager to perform in big events and some of the aim to win medals for India. The parents of the girls too have given a lot of encouragement to their children. Most of them wear hijab and do the training. They literally slug it out in the camp, said Aijaz, adding, with tongue-in-cheek, `never fiddle with them you may get punch on your face.’’
There is a buzz of activity at GBA where Aijaz is continuing his tradition started by his grandfather Subedar Major Shaik Ahmed. “Boxing is in our blood. My grandfather Shaik Ahmed was a good boxer in the army while my father Shaik Abdul Gani participated in all India Services tournaments before he retired from the army in 1980. He set up this Golconda Boxing Association in 1990. We are getting good response,” said Aiyaz Ahmed, who is supported by his brothers Shaik Shabbir Ahmed Akbar and Shaik Zafar Aslam. Incidentally, Aiyaz Ahmed’s son Shaik Abdul Rahman is a medal winner in the sub-junior National championship.
Incidentally, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Hussamuddin is their cousin. “He has been a great encouragement to our young boxers,’’ said Aiyaz Ahmed.
Thanks to pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the training was stopped for five months. “We were forced to shut down before reopening it recently. “We strictly follow the social distance rules. We check the temperatures and we keep sanitizing the place. We practice in an open arena and the boxers are kept at a distance. The boxers are from sub-junior to senior level. There is a lot of physical fitness before the gruelling one hour boxing session,’’ he said.
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