Mental well being and nutrition, two of the most important aspect of boxing needs to be ably taken care of when the athletes are away from the sport due to unavoidable circumstances.
Boxing Federation of India (BFI) in a revolutionary approach has taken a decision to provide online coaching to its Olympic bound athletes. This will be done keeping in mind the Tokyo Olympics which has been rescheduled until 2021. The training of the Indian boxing contingent has halted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak which has led to a nation-wide lockdown.
BFI President Ajay Singh spoke to the athletes via a video conference call and checked on their health, training regimen, nutrition and mental well-being “This is a challenging time for all of us and is all the more a reason for us to take care of ourselves. Stay fit, continue with the exercises as directed by the coaches and try to maintain your weights as much as possible,” Ajay Singh told the boxers.
“We will tide over this crisis soon and get back to the ring but staying motivated in the meantime is absolutely necessary,” he added.
BFI’s Executive Director R K Sacheti told the media that the athletes are at their homes right now, where diet can go for a toss. So, the idea behind these online classes is to ensure that they are kept aware of their nutritional needs. He further said that the classes for women and men will be conducted by high-performance directors Rafaelle Bergamasco and Santiago Nieva respectively.
Santiago is the only boxing coach who is in Patiala right now. He will have access to the boxing hall where he will educate the boxers on technicalities. The idea is to keep the boxers connected and aware.
“We hope things improve and the lockdown ends but we can’t start from scratch when that happens. We have to have something going so that when it ends, there is a seamless transition,” he added.
India has already booked nine sloths for Tokyo Olympics – MC Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohani (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Amit Panghal (52kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg).
The video conferencing initiative will be a regular feature guiding and motivating the athletes to remain focused and motivated as a team of experts namely coaches, doctors and physios will take care of them and look into their needs.