BFI embraces decentralisation to identify boxing talent at grassroot level

The Boxing Federation of India has widened its talent hunt programme in partnership with the Sports Authority of India

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Vijender Singh was the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal at the Beijing Games in 2008 while MC Mary Kom added to the tally at London 2012. The Indian boxing ecosystem has grown considerably since Singh's breakthrough.

Continuing on the upward curve, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) is now attempting to decentralise the process of talent hunt. They have, in association with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), launched zonal representation to identify talent at the grassroots level.

Initially, a committee consisting of two members were supposed to look after the initiative. But now every state secretary of member unit will be part of this talent hunt scheme in order to cast the net wider for the scouting process across the country.

The decentralisation also means that eight zonal committees will be put into place.

Indian boxer Vijender Singh (right) trained under GS Sandhu for most of his career.

"India has huge potential in boxing and the current pool of registered players is too small if you compare it to the 130 crore population of the country, ," BFI president Ajay Singh said in an official release.

"The Government has already allotted us 150 Khelo India Boxing Excellence Centres and our effort is to reach out to every corner of the country to find talent."

"In order to make our efforts result-oriented I believe adding more state members in the talent hunting process will help us bolster our mission to spread the Athlete-first approach and a strong step in making the Federation's efforts inclusive and effective," he added.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Umar Kremlev, has also praised the efforts taken by the federation to develop the sporting ecosystem.

"I do not see any obstacles for the development of boxing in India. We should only collaborate in this," Kremlev told The New Indian Express."I am also grateful for the steps the Indian government, the federations and its people have taken to develop boxing in the country."